Berlin/Essen, 13 February 2012 – The Mercator Foundation and the European Climate Foundation are launching an initiative to promote the implementation of the energy transition in Germany. Under the title Agora Energiewende (Agora Energy Transition), the two foundations will work to give concrete shape to the discussion of the “hows” of energy transition. To this end, the foundations are making available a multi million euro sum to be spread over five years. From 1st April 2012, the director of the new initiative will be one-time Secretary of State and former CEO of environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Rainer Baake.
"Rainer Baake is the right man to push forward, in concrete terms, the implementation of the energy transition in Germany," says Bernhard Lorentz, Managing Director of the Mercator Foundation. "In industry, government, and in NGOs, he enjoys real and bipartisan confidence and recognition," says John Meier, CEO of the European Climate Foundation.
The focal point of the Agora Energiewende engaging energy stakeholders about how to achieve the central objective of the energy transition: almost complete decarbonisation by 2050. Aided by dialogue platforms, participatory processes and research projects, it will improve the knowledge base about realisable paths towards the renewable age. The foundations are making available substantial funding to achieve this goal.
The Agora Energiewende will begin work in the spring, and will be headquartered in Berlin. The Agora Energiewende – part of the Smart Energy for Europe Platform (SEFEP) – is an initiative of the Mercator Foundation and the European Climate Foundation. The Europe-oriented SEFEP initiative was launched by the two foundations in 2009.
Earlier in his career, economist Rainer Baake was acting District Administrator in Marburg-Biedenkopf. In 1991, Joschka Fischer appointed him State Secretary in the Hesse Ministry of the Environment. From 1998 to 2005, Baake was Permanent State Secretary under Jürgen Trittin at the Federal Environment Ministry. During this period, he was responsible for major environmental projects at the former federal government: the phasing out of nuclear power, renewable energy law, emissions trading, and the Kyoto Protocol. Since 2006, Baake has been Federal Executive Director of environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe, where he is occupied above all with climate and energy issues.
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