The Need for Momentum in Europe's Climate Change Policies: Experiences from Germany's Energiewende

For many years the EU has been a pioneer – and even a role model – in its climate change policies. These policies have been critical not only for European countries, but for the entire global debate on climate protection. At the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference (to be held in 2015 in Paris), all eyes will be focused on Europe and its next steps. Will the continent stick to its leadership role or roll back in climate negotiations, for instance? The limelight falls on Germany and its Energiewende (energy transition). Will this transition result in an economically and environmentally successful outcome? Will the German advance remain an isolated case? Or will Germany succeed in bringing its European neighbours, as well as others, on board?