The European Institute's Roundtable on the Environment examines the strategic and human implications of global warming, addresses the global economic implications of energy and climate change policies, and monitors the progress of EU and U.S. climate change legislation. The Roundtable also serves to evaluate the implications of emerging U.S. and European competition in such regions as the Arctic and Antarctic, and transatlantic efforts to mitigate the depletion of natural resources.

Recent Meetings:

On March 17, 2015, The European Institute, in cooperation with the European Parliament Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress, held a meeting on the upcoming 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. In attendance was a delegation of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee. The Honorable Giovanni La Via, Chairman of the ENVI Committee opened the roundtable and underlined the importance of EU-U.S. cooperation to materialize an ambitious climate change agreement in Paris. Reid Detchon, Vice President of Energy and Climate Strategy at the United Nations Foundation then highlighted the positive momentum toward Paris, with events like the climate change marches in New York and the U.S.-China climate agreement representing a global shift on attitudes toward climate change. Lastly, Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of the Climate Program at the World Resources Institute, highlighted the positive undertakings that the U.S. has made and the opportunity for further reform with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

On July 16, 2013, The European Institute welcomed The Honorable Peter Liese, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for inclusion of aviation in the ETS, The Honorable Julie Oettinger, Assistant Administrator for Policy at the Federal Aviation Administration, and John Schmitz, Partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP, to discuss the future of global regulation of aviation emissions. The panelists discussed the contested extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme to the aviation sector by the European Union and the prospects for reaching agreement on a global framework at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s plenary meeting this September. The discussion was moderated by Annie Petsonk, International Counsel at Environmental Defense Fund.

On June 24, 2013, The European Institute welcomed His Excellency Petr Gandalovic, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States, to a discussion on the challenges of moving towards a low-carbon economy at a time of economic austerity. The Ambassador gave prepared remarks on behalf of the Minister of Environment, The Honorable Tomas Chalupa, and offered his country’s perspective on mitigating the impact of climate change, while furthering efforts to diversify energy resources and build a sustainable economic recovery. The Honorable Tomas Tesar, Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic, also participated in the panel discussion.

On March 18, 2013, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of Ireland, Marine Institute Ireland, and the Delegation of the European Union, organized an event featuring Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of Marine Institute Ireland. Dr. John Delaney, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington, moderated the discussion and Cathy O’Connor, First Secretary at the Embassy of Ireland, offered opening remarks. Dr. Heffernan argued that the Atlantic Ocean is a largely untapped resource and a potential source of great economic growth for the U.S. and the EU, especially in times of financial distress. He also stressed the importance of close collaboration between Europe and the United States and that their shared interests can be a good starting point for deeper transatlantic maritime cooperation and increasing “blue growth.”

On November 29, 2012, The European Institute hosted a seminar following the Arctic Council’s formal Senior Arctic Official meeting in Sweden. This seminar brought together representatives of the Arctic Council’s member states and focused on the evolution of the Arctic’s governance and the prospects for ensuring sustainable economic development in this fragile and resource rich region. Panelists included: Berit Enge, Minister Counselor, Political Affairs, Royal Norwegian Embassy; Dr. John Farrell, Executive Director, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Julia Gourley, U.S. Senior Arctic Official, U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Hannu Halinen, Ambassador, Arctic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland; Fred Larsen, CEO, Lamor; Ida Heimann Larsen, Minister Counselor, Economic, Royal Danish Embassy; Eva Hunnius Ohlin, Environmental Technology Officer, Embassy of Sweden; Sheila Riordon, Minister, Political Affairs, Embassy of Canada and former Canadian Senior Arctic Official; Brian Robinson, U.S. Coast Guard Liaison, Office of Oceans & Polar Affairs, U.S. Department of State; His Excellency Gudmundur Arni Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States; and Ambassador Anton Vasiliev, Senior Arctic Official of the Russian Federation. James Graff, Executive Editor of The Week moderated the discussion.

Click here to read Ambassador Vasiliev's remarks.

Get updates from EI@UMD