Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Climate Change and Renewable Energy Policy in the EU and Canada Workshop

October 1, 2015 — October 2, 2015
Time: 12:30 PM — 5:30 PM

Location:Conference Rooms 2220-2228, second floor Richcraft Hall
Key Contact:Cathleen Schmidt
Contact Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 1087

New!: Written summaries, videos, and PowerPoint presentations from the Workshop

The Centre for European Studies (EU Centre of Excellence) and the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue are pleased to present a policy workshop on climate change and renewable energy.

This international workshop and public forum will examine European and Canadian approaches to renewable energy production and climate change policy. A common theme will be how the inter-linkages between renewables and climate change are addressed in different types of institutional and political contexts. The workshop provides an opportunity to critically examine action and inertia in these areas in the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and in Canada and at the provincial/local level (with a focus on Ontario and Ottawa), on the other. The workshop will devote particular attention to ‘new’ renewables such as wind and solar technologies, including issues of public and social acceptance, drivers of innovation, sources of action and inertia in government promotion of these technologies, and policy options in implementing renewable energy options. The potential for lower-level jurisdictions (municipalities, provinces, or, in the EU, Member States) to serve as ‘leadership points’ will be explored, along with the way in which such initiatives are encouraged by the European Union.

Speaker biographies

Presentation abstracts

Draft agenda as of September 21, 2015 – subject to change

Thursday, October 1, 2015

12:30PM     Welcome and Opening Remarks:

Joan DeBardeleben, Chancellor’s Professor, Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and Director of Centre for European Studies (EUCE), Carleton University

André Plourde, Dean of Faculty of Public Affairs, Carleton University

Marie-Anne Coninsx, Ambassador of the European Union to Canada

12:45PM     Keynote Panel: Sustainable Energy Transition: Role of Renewables in Europe and Canada

With the global picture in mind, the first panel will explore how, at the macro level, Europe and Canada are transitioning to a sustainable energy economy and adding renewables to their energy mixes. A focus will be on examining EU initiatives as part of the Union’s updated 2030 climate and energy policy. Reasons for Canada’s less ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets will be explored, as well as details of the Canadian approach.


“Accelerating the transition to a low carbon emission society: reflections on the Canadian context,” by James Meadowcroft, Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University and Canadian Research Chair in Governance for Sustainable Development

“Comparing EU Climate Governance: 2008 and 2014,” by Christian Hey, Secretary General of the German Advisory Council for the Environment, Berlin

“The Politics of Decarbonization and the Shifting Context of Global Climate Governance,” by Matthew Hoffmann, Professor of Political Science and Co-Director, Environmental Governance Lab, University of Toronto

2:15PM     Break

2:30PM    Panel 2: Top Down or Bottom Up?: Institutional and political contexts for decision-making in the EU and Canada

The second panel will examine EU and Canadian renewable energy/climate change initiatives within their respective multilevel systems. A particular focus will be on interactions between the EU and the national level policy in Europe and the federal/provincial interface in Canada. In Canada, climate change initiatives are increasingly devolved to the provincial and local levels, whereas in Europe, EU policy has also served as a prod for national and local efforts. This panel explores how federal or multilevel systems may offer diverse opportunities for renewable energy and climate change leadership and innovation, with a particular focus on Ontario within the Canadian context.

Moderator: Inger Weibust, Assistant Professor of International Affairs, Carleton University


“Opportunities – and Limits – of Climate Leadership by Canadian Provinces,” by Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia

“How Europeanised are European Renewable Policies?,” by Francis McGowan, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

“Ontario Renewable Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Canadian Intergovernmental and North American Contexts,” by Douglas Macdonald, Senior Lecturer, School of the Environment, University of Toronto

4:15PM    Panel 3: Social acceptance and public attitudes toward renewable energy and climate change in Canada and Europe

Moderator: Jon Pammett, Professor of Political Science, Carleton University


“Popular Support and EU Climate Policy,” by Mats Braun, Senior Lecturer, Metropolitan University Prague, The Czech Republic

“Divided Power: Social Friction and Green Energy Development in Ontario,” by Stephen Hill, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University

“Energy Transition and challenges for wind energy in Switzerland,” by Maya Jegen, Professor, Department of Political Science, Université du Québec à Montréal

Friday, October 2, 2015

9:00AM    Panel 4: Cities, Energy, and Climate Change: Experiences from Europe and Canada

This panel will draw particular attention to efforts of municipal jurisdictions in Europe and Canada in addressing issues of climate change and renewable energy. In the European context, speakers will look at the European Commission’s support for the Covenant of Mayors’ efforts in this arena, placing this in a broader comparative perspective.

Moderator: Kathryn O’Hara, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University


“A Lot of Hot Air? Measuring the climate change initiatives of Canadian cities,” by Elizabeth Schwartz, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia

“Municipal Reactions to European Energy and Climate Governance: The Case of German Cities,” by Anne Tews, Technical University Darmstadt

“The Covenant of Mayors Experience: Lessons for Fostering Local Climate Policy,” by Lena Bendlin (by video), Research Associate, Environmental Policy Research Center, Freie Universität Berlin

“Cities and climate governance. From experimental initiatives to reshaping urban development,” by Matthew Paterson, Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

10:15AM    Break

10:30AM     City Perspectives: Practitioners’ Insights

David Chernushenko, Councillor for Capital Ward and Chair of Environment Committee, City of Ottawa

Detlef Gerdts, Department of environment and climate protection, Osnabrück

Janice Ashworth, Operations Manager, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC)

11:15AM     Discussion of city issues and questions (whole panel)

12:00PM    Lunch

1:15PM        Panel 5: Policy Options for Renewable Energy Development in the EU

This panel will delve more deeply into particular issues affecting renewable energy/climate change policy in the EU, looking at selected issues and examples. Topics will include:  Political commitment and policy instruments for solar energy development; Economic feasibility of renewables; and, EU impacts on policy choices at the Member State and local level.

Moderator: Crina Viju, Assistant Professor, Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University


“Different transition paths to low carbon power: Germany, UK, EU,” by Volkmar Lauber, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Salzburg

“Are the interactions between the EU’s renewable energy support and emissions trading system (ETS) really so negative?,” by Pablo del Río González, Research Associate, Institute of Public Goods and Policies, High Council for Scientific Research, Madrid, Spain

“The New Energy Union: Priorities and Conflicting Policy Objectives,” by Stephan Schott, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

2:45PM    Break

3:00PM    Panel 6: Policy Options for Renewable Energy Development in Ontario and Canada

This panel will delve more deeply into particular issues affecting renewable energy/climate change policy in Canada, and, in particular, Ontario, including: Political commitment and policy instruments for solar energy development; Economic feasibility of renewables; and, Incentives structures for policy choices at the provincial and local level.

Moderator: Alexandra Mallett, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University


“Lessons Learned from a Decade of Promoting Renewable Energy in Ontario,” by Nic Rivers, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy

“Choices, pathways, and emerging renewables: Exploring the role of new renewable electricity technologies within illustrative pathways for Ontario’s electricity system,” by Daniel Rosenbloom, Doctoral Candidate, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

“Vulnerable Households and Distributed Renewable Electricity in Ontario:  Emerging Challenges and Opportunities,” by Ian Rowlands, Professor, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo

“The Politics of Renewable Energy and Ambitious Policies: Comparing Ontario, California & Texas,” by Leah C. Stokes, Assistant Professor, The University of California, Santa Barbara

5:00PM    Concluding remarks

This event is supported by Carleton University and funded by grants from the European Union and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).