Germany Forum on Atlantic Media and the Environment (FAME VIII)

June 23 – 29, 2013

Twenty leading U.S. and European environmental journalists traveled to Berlin for the eighth conference in the series Forum on Atlantic Media and the Environment (FAME VIII), after which they visted a number of important environmental locations in Berlin and Hamburg.

The twin themes of the conference are Germany’s Energiewende - the shift of country's energy supplies toward renewable sources and away from nuclear power - and the challenges environmental journalism faces on both sides of the Atlantic. The environmental journalists are part of a growing network of transatlantic journalists who meet to share notes on environmental topics and the rapidly changing nature of the media in Europe and the United States.

Conference participants spent two days at the Heinrich Boell Foundation, where the Foundation's President, Ralf Fuecks, set the tone for the week-long visit by calling for Germany to pioneer a global "Green New Deal", equivalent to a new industrial revolution that will vastly increase the sustainable production of goods and energy in Europe and the wider world.  Germany's energy transition, which among other things aims at high energy efficiency and at least  80 percent of the country's electricity from renewable energies by 2050, would be the "core" of a sustainable transformation in economic systems, Mr. Fuecks told the journalists, who were also briefed by a series of leading German policy makers and energy experts.

Participants visited the German Energy Agency and the Renewables Academy, and met with Foreign and Environment Ministry experts, before leaving for Hamburg.

The meetings provide a significant opportunity to advance transatlantic understanding of the participating journalists at both the personal and professional levels, and act as a clearing-house for new ideas in covering the environment and more generally dealing with the latest technological developments in the international media. The gatherings also receive high-level briefings from government officials, scientific and energy experts, and industry representatives. The Berlin conference is hosted by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, and the subsequent three-day field trip has been arranged by the Goethe Institut, under the aegis of the German Foreign Ministry