Since July 2014 the price of oil has been falling, and a new OPEC strategy pushed through by Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi makes a reversal unlikely in the near future. OPEC felt obliged to defend its market share against US fracking firms and other “marginal producers.” The pain felt in Moscow, Tehran, and Caracas is an unintended – if not unwelcome – byproduct.
Removing regulations slowing the build-up of renewable systems for consumers and industry, considering complementary methods of integrating fluctuating flows of renewable energy, and greening the transport sector through fuel innovations: these are three of the developments we may see in Germany’s renewable energy transition in 2015.
What a difference a year makes: Germany’s transition to renewable energy showed positive forward momentum, with increasing energy production from renewables, increased exports, decreased carbon emissions, and decreasing consumer prices. The next challenge is to improve efficiency.
Barack Obama’s absence at the great Paris rally for the victims of last week’s terrorist attacks may be symbolic of a deeper rift: Americans and Europeans have a completely different view of what it takes to combat terrorism.
2014 was a mind-boggling year, marking the start of profound changes in world affairs, but also in the way Berlin thinks about foreign policy. Part of this is the “Review 2014” process Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched earlier this year, inviting over 60 political observers, commentators, and think tankers from across the world to put their thoughts down on paper. We offer a critical overview.
A narrow escape from the clutches of the Americans as well as the Russians – that is how many Germans saw the end of the Cold War. Will Putin’s actions be enough to remind Germans of the benefits of their alliance with the United States? Confronted with disorder in the Middle East and the rise of China and Russia, both countries need to work together – and it is high time for a new American charm offensive.
Germany’s alliance with America is not important – it is irreplaceable. It is a crucial support for the pluralist-liberal model, which is under pressure in many parts of the world, including Europe. But as Germany comes of age in foreign policy, it and the US need to renegotiate their relationship – and Berlin must play its part with self-confidence.
Europe’s center-right will vote next week on whether […]
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BERLIN POLICY JOURNAL is a bimonthly digital magazine on international affairs, edited in Germany’s capital and published by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). It is best read via our app – on GooglePlay and the Apple AppStore – on tablets and smart phones. Check out this website for previews, full-length articles, and current blog posts.
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+++ A baffled Germany enters the new era of world politics largely unprepared, warns Constanze Stelzenmüller; Thorsten Benner calls upon German foreign policy-makers to stop babbling about “responsibility”; Berlin’s European policy must do better, argues Daniela Schwarzer; Jörg Lau takes think tanks and foreign policy experts to task; Ben Knight profiles Green leader Robert Habeck; Bettina Vestring explains why the Social Democrats are moving to the left; Siobhán Dowling on the meaning of “Tempolimit” (Words Don’t Come Easy); Creating “European champions” by loosening merger control is the wrong approach, warn Guntram Wolff and Georgios Petropoulos in our “Red Herring & Black Swan” column; and much more +++