Renewing Transatlantic Climate Change Cooperation

The ideas presented below were developed during a high level dialogue among like-minded politicians, business leaders, energy experts and climate change negotiators from both sides of the Atlantic. The dialogue was organized by The Brookings Institution and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), with the support of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Robert Bosch Foundation. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the chairmen and do not represent a consensus of the dialogue participants or its supporters.

While the United States and Europe continue to disagree on many aspects of climate change policy, the gap among policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic is narrowing. More and more American policy makers, including state and local officials and some members of Congress, agree that climate change is a serious problem that warrants the adoption of economically and environmentally sensible regulation. Increasingly, Europeans are concerned about the economic cost and competitiveness consequences of climate policy, even as they renew their commitments to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. So while significant difference remain, including over the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, important avenues exist for renewing transatlantic cooperation in 2005 and beyond.

Outlined below are (1) proposed pillars for future transatlantic cooperation, (2) summaries of issues on which transatlantic disagreement continues and (3) several concrete policy recommendations for governments in the United States and Europe. These recommendations are intended to be implemented simultaneously and comprehensively.

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