Dialogue Agenda

(Subject to last-minute changes)

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Tuesday 16 March 2021 - CONFERENCE DAY 1

Conference Welcome and announcement of Opening Ceremony.


Africa AfricaAsia AsiaEmissions EmissionsFinance FinanceHydrogen HydrogenInnovation Innovation
 
9:00 am - 9:45 am
Hall "Weltsaal"

Arguably no other crisis facing us today is as all-encompassing as the changing climate. Every country, every age group, every level of society is threatened by the manifold adverse effects of climate change. Only by marshalling a truly global and collective effort to contain these developments can we guarantee a prosperous and secure future. This task concerns everyone, everywhere. That is why the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue invites policymakers, industry representatives, young generational leaders, and civil society to exchange ideas and views on these issues. This year, the conference will be opened by the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas and the Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier. The opening keynote speech will be held by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and young climate activists from all over the globe: Vanessa Nakate, Climate Activist, Fridays for Future Uganda & Brianna Fruean, Climate Activist & Pacific Climate Warrior, Samoa/New Zealand.


Emissions EmissionsFinance FinanceHydrogen Hydrogen
 
9:45 am - 10:30 am
Hall "Weltsaal"

On the path to climate-neutrality by 2050, the coming decade plays a crucial role. There is a need to undertake decisive steps for decarbonization and significantly accelerate the energy transition politically, economically and socially in the coming decade. This includes the effective and widespread implementation of renewable energy technologies in all end-uses, including green hydrogen, but also the implementation of frameworks for green investments, activities and the inclusion of civil society in shaping and driving the Energiewende. This panel seeks to explore what the decade to 2030 needs to contribute to a successful quest for climate neutrality by 2050.


Finance FinanceInnovation Innovation
 
10:45 am - 11:15 am
Hall "Weltsaal"

The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are uniquely positioned to steer the global energiewende. They meet virtually on the “green sofa” to discuss the current state of the energy transition and will present their latest numbers on RES on a worldwide scale.

The IEA has put accelerating clean energy transitions at the heart of its work, leveraging its full capabilities to support the realisation of a secure, affordable and people-centred transition.

IRENA, equipped with a global mandate to enable energy transitions, drives the strategic shift towards sustainable energy by providing cutting-edge knowledge, advice and support on technologies, investments, policies and markets.


Finance Finance
 
11:30 am - 12:15 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic induced a serious collapse in national GDP growth rates. Governments face unprecedentedly high levels of debt, thus putting a strain on their capacity to introduce public stimulus measures to revitalise the economy. This situation, combined with the persistent challenge of climate change, calls for innovative financing tools from capital markets to green the recovery. 

Labels for socially responsible investments (SRI), sustainability indexes (such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index) … What are the most efficient tools of the finance sector to stimulate post-Covid green growth? How can the private sector embrace these new growth opportunities and implement decarbonisation measures that trigger additional investments? This session will touch upon the available financial mechanisms to promote greener investment strategies that pave the way from policy targets to private measures.


Emissions EmissionsHydrogen HydrogenInnovation Innovation
 
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Hall "Europasaal"

The industrial sector is both a global economic powerhouse and a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for roughly one-third of global GHG emissions. In order to further accelerate the decarbonization process, one major task remains greening the industry, especially the “hard-to-abate” sectors. Key areas of transformation are energy intensive industries such as steel, cement and basic chemicals. Challenges include the transition from conventional to advanced carbon-negative manufacturing processes and other breakthrough technologies, the provision of large amounts of renewable electricity and carbon-neutral hydrogen as well as the establishment of the necessary infrastructure, e.g. for green hydrogen and sequestered carbon dioxide. Another area is the interplay with the energy grid, where the industry sector has huge potential for flexibility through Demand-Side-Management (DSM). This session will explore potential measures aimed at “greening” industrial processes by means of energy efficiency gains, regulatory mechanisms and, where possible, direct use of renewables through greater market competitiveness and availability.


Emissions EmissionsInnovation Innovation
 
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

Electricity markets were created in the last century for a world powered by fossil energies and they do not work very well for a power system based largely on intermittent RES. Today, electricity networks worldwide are experiencing dramatic increases in demand as well as in terms of RE capacity increments. They need to urgently adapt simultaneously to several new megatrends and challenges, including the increasing electrification of economies and the digitalisation of societies as well as quickly diversifying methods of carbon-neutral power generation and storage.

Part of reaching the goal of carbon neutrality lies in digitising power markets through many of the same methods that have allowed us to digitise and integrate modern financial markets. This deeply impacts the energy sector, connecting everybody to everything, and creating many new market opportunities. A main goal must therefore be to avoid misalignments and systemic frictions between the integration of renewables and existing market coordination modules, including the wholesale market, the retail market, and network regulation. Coherence across policy areas is essential and the point is that unless there is a favourable market design that is flexible, inclusive and dynamic, it will be difficult to develop digitised green power business models and rapidly deploy services. This represents a bit of a chicken and egg problem.

This session will provide an overview of the opportunities associated with the digitalisation of increasingly diversified and carbon-neutral electricity markets and the main challenges to realising these opportunities. Smart market designs help to seize those opportunities, f.i. with prosumer models. But there are also risks, such as new monopolies. How can these new paradigms be combined to accelerate the energy transition?



The global energy transition can only be achieved if we acknowledge the diversity of its actors. The energy sector continues to be male-dominated, whereas women are still under-represented especially in upper management positions in companies, politics and science. Therefore, women in top-level positions are often less connected with peers than their male counterparts are.

By gathering female energy experts from various international networks, the Women's Lunch aims to strengthen the impact of female actors in the energy transition, by providing a platform where they can share their experiences and connect.

This initiative is jointly organised by the German Energy Agency and the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) on behalf of the German Federal Government.

 

 
3:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

Emissions EmissionsFinance Finance
 
4:10 pm - 4:55 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

Renewable energy and climate ambitions can be boosted by a strong cooperation between Canada, the EU and the US as well as other key actors in the transatlantic region. Those ambitions will include scaling of RES targets, but also coordination on emissions trading, carbon pricing and taxation. There is a possibility to build on the “Transatlantic Climate Bridge”, which was established in 2008 with the aim of jointly tackling the challenges. With the new White House administration re-joining the Paris climate agreement and new energy partnerships being formed by the German government with key countries in the Americas, transatlantic leadership in the fight against climate change is gaining new momentum. This session will explore the depths of that cooperation to come.


Emissions EmissionsFinance Finance
 
5:10 pm - 5:40 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

To date, more than 40 countries in the world have introduced a carbon pricing mechanism, either in the form of a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme. 75% of these countries' emissions are priced at less than €8 per tonne of CO2 eq. However, achieving carbon neutrality in the near future requires raising this price to at least €62/tonne of CO2 eq. ($75), as estimated by the International Monetary Fund. On the other hand, the prospect of an increase in the price of carbon involves the risk of carbon leakage, i.e. a relocation of emitting activities to regions with less strict legislation. In addition, the great majority of the emissions trading schemes cover only the energy and industry sector, thus raising the question of the applicability of such schemes to other sectors. 

This session aims at exchanging lessons learnt on CO2 pricing mechanisms across the world and discussing how to extend their scope. It addresses endeavours such as the planned European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the introduction of emissions certificates in the German heating and transport sector. In short, it tackles the question of how to make trade sustainably climate neutral.


Emissions Emissions
 
5:10 pm - 5:40 pm
Hall "Europasaal"

The building sector, and in particular the building stock, is a significant factor when it comes to carbon emissions worldwide. According to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, the sector accounts for 38% of all energy-related CO2 emissions when adding building construction industry emissions.

Direct building CO2 emissions must be cut in half by 2030 in order to reach net zero carbon building stock by 2050. Inefficient buildings waste a lot of energy. Heating and cooling buildings consumes enormous amounts of energy and has low shares of renewable energy. When we discuss the energy transition today, we think primarily of electricity and mobility, but we rarely consider the building sector. A worldwide energy transition without 100% renewable heating and cooling will be impossible. The change has yet to come - how can we achieve this?

Many states have launched 'green recovery' plans that factor in the building sector on the path toward reducing emissions following the Covid-19 crisis. The EU CO2 reduction strategy (Renovation Wave) is the first continental decarbonisation programme for the building stock and aims to both improve the energy efficiency of buildings and speed up the integration of renewables. At what pace does this process need to be realised in order to help the sleeping giant quickly get on its feet? What are the implications for policies, industry and workforce? This session will provide an overview of the current global situation in the building sector.

The speakers will speak from the perspective of efficient buildings, on the one hand, and on the other hand from the perspective of the (climate neutral) energy sector.


Hydrogen HydrogenInnovation Innovation
 
5:55 pm - 6:40 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

One of today’s most important challenges is the decarbonization of the economy. Within just a few decades, all our energy needs will have to come from carbon-free sources. This will require huge changes in little more than a single generation, and will demand innovative solutions, technologies and policies. Hydrogen plays a crucial role in making this fundamental change to our energy systems.

If the world acts to prevent the climate emergency from becoming a catastrophic reality for the next generations, the global hydrogen economy of the future will be massive.

Our discussion will shed a light on the opportunities and challenges of hydrogen in the green economy.


The concept of the evening reception is ‘Multiperspectivity 2050: Joint Challenge meets Innovative Solutions’. An interactive and engaging “Talk Show” on Climate Change, where different perspectives from exceptional speakers will be discussed, debated and defended in order to address the plethora of challenges and potential solutions to climate action. The diverse contributions towards climate neutrality and related issues will help us acknowledge and dive into the multiperspective approach, which is required for a comprehensive, inclusive and successful energy transition.

The evening reception will feature the official announcement of the 2021 Start-Up Energy Transition (SET) Award finalists. For the last five years, the SET Award has recognised more than 50 of the most innovative start-ups from all around the world and their ground-breaking solutions to fight climate change and drive the energy transitions forward.

Finalist presenters include:

  • State Secretary Andreas Feicht, Federal Forein Office
  • Dr. Angela Wilkinson, CEO, World Energy Coucil 
  • Dr. Hinrich Thoelken, Director Climate and Energy Policy and Digital Transformation, Federal Foreign Office
  • Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Wednesday 17 March 2021 - CONFERENCE DAY 2

Conference Welcome


Innovation Innovation
 
9:15 am - 10:00 am
Hall "Weltsaal"

In 2015, the Agenda 2030 was adopted by 193 Member States of the United Nations. It sets 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a transition towards less inequalities, less poverty and more solutions to tackle climate change. The SDGs consist of 169 concrete targets to be carried out effectively by 2030. But how are these global goals concretely translated into local action? With a focus on the energy transition, this session will present successful initiatives all over the world which have taken upon themselves to implement the global goals.


Africa Africa
 
10:15 am - 10:45 am
Hall "Weltsaal"

The Africa – EU partnership is one of the key priorities of the EU Commission. The EIB is one the major investors for sustainable infrastructure in Africa. As close neighbours, the two continents have massive opportunities for cooperation, especially in the field of energy, and not only in solar, but in all renewable energy technologies. The African continent is set to experience strong economic and population growth within the next decade and it is in both continents’ interest to steer that economic growth towards a green transition. At the same time, the lack of access to clean energy is still considered the biggest obstacle to economic and social justice. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the growing urgency of the climate crisis show at the same time how interdependent Africa and Europe are. This panel explores ways to strengthen the partnership between Africa and Europe and the role of the EIB and solar energy.


Emissions EmissionsInnovation Innovation
 
11:00 am - 11:45 am
Hall "Weltsaal"

The global Covid-19 pandemic can in many ways be compared to climate change after pushing the “fast forward” button. It has had an enormous impact on virtually everybody’s health, well-being, and in many cases on their financial and labour market prospects as well However, the younger generation is particularly adversely affected by these developments. Covid-19 has made it clear how quickly and how comprehensively a global crisis can affect all of our lives, penetrating deeply into the private sphere. Are there lessons to be learned from this global crisis?

The Covid-19 crisis impressively shows how much our fight against it depends on solidarity on all levels of society. The global pandemic, like the climate catastrophe, does not stop at national borders.

Health and environmental crises hit the most vulnerable members of our societies particularly hard. What can we do to encourage more solidarity among all ages, all sectors, and all countries to tackle the arguably even more serious long-term crisis of climate change?

The United Nations Development Program’s "Peoples' Climate Vote" conducted by the University of Oxford reflects the opinions of over half of the world's population. Sixty-four percent of people believe climate change is a global emergency, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to age, younger people (under 18) were more likely to say climate change is an emergency than older people. Nevertheless, other age groups were not far behind, illustrating how widely held this view has become.


Innovation Innovation
 
11:45 am - 12:05 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

Electricity is today at the heart of modern societies and economies, providing a rising share of energy services. The global shift towards an intensifying electrification of functions and lifestyles has gathered considerable momentum in past years. It is considered today to be a megatrend of the new century, one that accelerates the green energy transition, but also involves certain risks.

The share of heating and cooling in global final energy consumption is still higher than the use of electricity. And the carbon intensity of traditional fuels makes the heating industry switch to green gases. A special challenge resides in the building sector with its long investment cycles and relative inertia to rapid change. Also, strategies for the green energy transition and decarbonisation of global societies need to avoid single-edged dependencies on specific energy carriers and rather foster diversification and system redundancy, be it at local, national, continental or intercontinental levels.

This session explores the limits of mass electrification in selected sectors. Can electricity fully replace today’s transport as well as heating and cooling technologies, which are still mostly based on fossil fuels? And what about differentiated strategies for industrialised and developing countries?


 
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

The global Energiewende is an endeavour that requires global participation. For years, energy projects that are run or managed by citizens and/or communities/cooperatives have developed all around the world, very early in countries such as Germany and Costa Rica and more recently in countries such as Bangladesh. Citizen energy projects are important to include civil society in the Energiewende and to increase overall support. Public support for the energy transition is a crucial driver for governments to implement efficient energy transition policies and for businesses to invest and innovate in the renewable energy sector. Energy communities bear the potential to foster regional cooperation, not only nationally but also internationally and can be important drivers for regional development.

However, regulations vary between countries and energy communities are therefore confronted with differing obstacles and opportunities. The new European REDII regulation is the first supranational legislation on this issue and has the potential of facilitating the formation and work of energy communities.

This session seeks to explore different types of people energy projects and their role in regional energy policies and regional development. Furthermore, the state of policy support for these projects, opportunities and obstacles to their work will be assessed. It will also be examined whether these projects could become an international phenomenon.


 
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
Hall "Europasaal"

The organization and the control of energy supply is one of the most critical topics for the security of human societies. Interdependency between sectors and across national infrastructures is critical, especially as the trend towards sector-coupling and international energy distribution gains traction. The ever-growing complexity of national and international energy systems is also increasingly mapped digitally, which should simplify the future interplay between the relevant actors.

Implementing ambitious energy transition policies requires collaboration by the many stakeholders in each country and internationally between governments, as well as across industries, civil societies and supranational organisations. Collaborative partnership is the cornerstone of any global strategy towards carbon neutrality. Be it in state economies or market economies, nation states have important, but varying roles to play in the process, as both actors and moderators.

The session will explore the synergies and tensions between state-based action, private industry, and the role of regions and supranational organizations in the context of extremely fast-changing energy market environments.


Hydrogen Hydrogen
 
3:15 pm - 4:00 pm
Hall "Europasaal"

In the international context, energy has always been a key issue due to national interests and security. The abundance of oil and gas in an energy exporting country and the dependency on the import of fossil fuels in the recipient country heavily influence their economic and political relations. Meanwhile, the reality of climate change is forcing the international community to explore cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy, which may lead to a reshuffling of traditional energy partnerships and impact international trade relations. With the rise of technologies for renewable energy generation, new structures of cooperation and competition are emerging. Especially the production of and demand for green hydrogen as an alternative fuel and as a method of storing energy has the potential to change international relations based on resource abundance and technological capabilities. New players are entering the global energy market, especially countries with an abundance of renewable energy sources and producers of electrolysis technology. However, international fossil fuel infrastructure, such as pipelines and storage tanks, could become assets for the reliable transport and distribution of green hydrogen. How will countries respond to and capitalize on this reconfiguration of international energy relations?


Emissions EmissionsFinance FinanceInnovation Innovation
 
3:15 pm - 4:00 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

The world is becoming increasingly urbanized. Cities will need to accommodate two thirds of the world’s population in a liveable, low-carbon environment by 2050. As city populations grow, the demand for services but also pressure on resources will increase. This demand puts a strain on energy, water, waste, mobility and any other services that are essential to a city’s prosperity and sustainability.

Cities also offer clear opportunities to reduce emissions and develop climate-resilient future infrastructure. 

This session will shed a light on the shaping of smart and liveable cities, as a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses.


Innovation Innovation
 
4:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

The world of transportation is undoubtedly in the midst of major disruption and facing unprecedented challenges on multiple fronts. The need to develop solutions that reduce emissions from our communities while keeping people moving is all too clear and crucially this goes hand in hand with supporting the clean energy transition.

Today’s transport and energy challenges require a holistic approach. Our discussion will bring comprehensive solutions built on several pieces of a mobility jigsaw puzzle: better urban planning, reduction and optimisation of our mobility needs, digitalisation, new business models, shared economy, behavioural changes and electrification.


Finance FinanceInnovation Innovation
 
4:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Hall "Europasaal"

Innovative energy solutions are vital to achieving the sustainability targets that will ensure a green future. Technological innovation, pushed by public and private expenditures on research and development, is a major driver for this change. With this, effective financing of start-ups and innovators plays an important role. This panel will delve into how private and public funding can be successfully channeled towards technologies and business models to combat climate change. The panelists will also explore specific good practice examples to illustrate how public and private funding drives innovation forward and what start-ups need to look out for when accessing it.


 
5:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

 
5:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

Africa AfricaAsia AsiaEmissions EmissionsFinance FinanceHydrogen HydrogenInnovation Innovation
 
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Hall "Weltsaal"

The Green Recovery is a broadly used term nowadays. People and states put their hopes in the concept in order to both achieve their renewable energy and climate targets and overcome the economic downturn due to Covid-19 pandemic. But also in the longer run a structural change towards a greener and more sustainable economic system is needed in order to ensure both adequate living conditions for every species on earth and economic prosperity.

How can we integrate green structures into our economic systems? How can Covid-recovery measures trigger a strong momentum for green growth? Which measures need to be undertaken? What is the role of the energy transition in that regard?

This closing session seeks to explore these questions and to draw conclusions, by looking at it from a scientific point of view. It is also a wonderful opportunity to give an outlook and to take a look back at the different topics of the conference and examine their validity for bringing a green structural change in our economic systems.


Africa AfricaAsia AsiaEmissions EmissionsFinance FinanceHydrogen HydrogenInnovation Innovation