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 Tuesday December 1, 2009, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Royal Danish Embassy, convened a meeting to address prospects for the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference and U.S. energy and environment policy. While expectations for the conference to achieve real success have fallen recently, the experts who addressed the two panel seminar all concurred that this conference is an essential step towards securing effective climate change legislation.

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During this seminar, experts from both sides of the Atlantic discussed and debated key ideas and mechanisms for reducing global carbon emissions and containing costs. Panelists addressed the debate between the cap and trade system and carbon tax as well as internationalizing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The speakers noted that effective market measures are critical to making real progress and that the continuing debate between cap and trade and carbon tax measures is crucial for driving innovation and investment.

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Leading experts from both sides of the Atlantic discussed the re-emergence of nuclear power as a complementary asset in the drive to de-carbonize energy resources. In addition to evaluating current demand for nuclear power and the relative cost and capacity issues inherent in the industry's expansion, participants also addressed the challenge of nuclear safety and waste disposal, as well as the current financial and regulatory environments.

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Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, French Minister of State for Forward Planning and Development of the Digital Economy, discussed how the ICT sector can facilitate the switch to a low-carbon economy and also promote sustainable growth. The digital industry, known for innovation and the rapid deployment of new technologies, is in a position to play an important role in the transition to a green economy as it impacts on all sectors of activities.

The Roundtable featured members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism who presented an overview of their priorities, including: the negotiations of the second stage of the EU-U.S. Aviation Agreement; the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme; air traffic management; the EU-U.S. agreement on aviation safety; and aviation and maritime security, including container scanning.  Members of the Committee’s delegation included: The Honorable Paolo Costa, Chairman of the Committee, The Honorable Georg Jarzembowski, and The Honorable Saïd El KhadraouiThe Honorable Jonathan Evans, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the United States was also present and underlined the importance of continued EU-U.S. cooperation on transport issues.  The United States perspective was represented by Lynne Pickard, Deputy Director of the Office of Environment and Energy at the Federal Aviation Administration, who outlined the U.S. policy regarding aviation emissions, and Michael Scardaville, Acting Director of European and Multilateral Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who addressed U.S. aviation security issues, in particular, the 100% container scanning initiative.