Diss Scheiner

Climate Policy and Federalism. Comparing three Case Studies in German Energy Policy (working title).

Graduation project at the department Bauingenieurwesen und Geodäsie, TU Darmstadt

By means of a multitude of measures, over the last two decades, energy and climate policies have provided the basis for an ongoing shift towards a low carbon economical system in Germany. Policies especially stress infrastructures to adapt in order to achieve the GHG-emission reduction goals. To date, German climate politics mainly focuses on electricity production and the building sector in order to transform the energy supply and demand system.

The transition of these areas includes conflicts across different economical sectors, across political parties, and also across spatial territories. For example the traditional energy powerhouses in Germany are confronted with considerable economic burdens to their regional (energy) industries which are only partially and spatially unevenly compensated by the benefits of the growing low carbon industries.

The “federal dimension” in German climate politics raises questions which to date have only been touched on briefly in the literature. It must be asked how the transformation policies, which may include significant (re-) distributive spatial effects and other federal conflicts, were implemented within the consensus-oriented and cooperative German federal system. It is to be explained, why this cooperative federalism, usually only enabling incremental shifts, allowed for effective policies aiming comparatively radical shifts.For this purpose, the doctoral thesis analyses key decisions in three different climate policy action fields (renewable energies, emissions trading, energy efficiency of buildings) over the last two decades. Arguing from an institutional perspective it explains how transformation policies were effectively implemented within the system of cooperative federalism, given the heterogeneous regional interests of the German Bundesländer.