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Finding Common Ground in Uncertain Times: Multilateralism in Transatlantic Climate Change Policy

September 22, 2023 @ 12:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Climate change policy stands out as a highly salient issue in European and transatlantic public opinion. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the need to replace fossil energy sources from Russia and to end the formerly high European (and particularly German) dependency on gas and oil from that country. How does this situation influence the policies mitigating climate change? Do we see a “Zeitenwende” in climate change and energy policy? What is the impact on transatlantic relations? Leveraging a broad review of survey data in our time series, the analysis identifies a clear pattern of increasing agreement in public opinion. Yet, progress in joint transatlantic climate change action has been rather slow and fragmented. To explain this puzzle, we connect these findings to pitfalls for transatlantic cooperation by highlighting regional differences and country variations, including increasing political polarization and the rise of right-wing populism, as plausible hurdles to policy consistency. We argue that beneath broader trends in shared concerns roadblocks on the national level inhibit the implementation of coherent and effective transatlantic climate change policies.

The lecture will be in FedEx GEC 1005 and on Zoom.



Headshot of Christiane Lemke.



Christiane Lemke is Professor of Political Science and Director of International Relations and European Studies at the Institute of Political Science at Leibniz University Hannover. Professor Lemke has been very involved in Center for European Studies teaching, research, and conferences for many years. She has been teaching in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Transatlantic Masters (TAM) program for over a decade and has been a recurring DAAD Visiting Scholar to UNC since 1988. In addition to her current position, Christiane Lemke, from 2010-14, held the Max Weber Chair at New York University. Professor Lemke received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the Free University in Berlin and went on to earn her Habilitation Venia legendi in Political Science from the same institution.



September 22, 2023
12:15 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


FedEx Global Center #1005
301 Pittsboro St
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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