We are pleased to announce the publication of our very first White Paper. It is the result of the third edition of the Lower Saxony – Scotland Joint Forum, which took place in a hybrid format at the University of Glasgow in November 2022.
The Joint Forum focussed on the highly topical subject of Renewable Energies and Sustainability. Thereby, it embraced the vision of Lower Saxonian Prime Minister, Stephan Weil, to develop a Strategic Energy Partnership between both regions, which received further encouragement by the respective Lower Saxonian and Scottish ministries dealing with climate change, the environment as well as energy policy.
In his welcoming speech, Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal of the University of Glasgow, recalled that the momentum of the Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021 should not be lost in the ensuing climate emergency. He underlined the importance of placing “sustainability and sustainable development at the heart of (…) our thinking, our policy making and our decision making”. In the same vein, Professor Jörg Philipp Terhechte, ECAS Academic Director and Vice-Principal of Leuphana University Lüneburg, ascertained that “energy policy and questions of sustainable energy are a top priority for politics”, especially now. Highlighting the core idea behind ECAS – the bringing together of academics from Lower Saxony and Scotland – he said “it is crucial to work together on important issues such as energy policy with partners who we know, trust and share the same values with.”
During the panel discussion, different aspects and perspectives on renewable energies and sustainability were considered, such as their regional and political dimensions, the role and relation between climate change and sustainability as well as the advent of hydrogen energy as one of many possible solutions to the challenges faced in the energy sector.
The very dynamic and insightful panel debate was followed by a round-table between the distinguished speakers as well as invited guests with the objective of determining first priority topics for the envisaged strategic energy partnership. In times of geopolitical unrest and the climate emergency becoming even more pressing every single day, it is important that cooperation in the energy sector is enhanced and that bridges are built not only between countries but similarly between academia, industry, politics and civil society.
Professor Gioia Falcone, Rankine Chair of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow, who moderated the event, said „the fantastic contributions offered by our panellists have demonstrated the variety of challenges and opportunities along the pathway to a sustainable net zero, and how strategic international collaboration can maximise the chances of success.“
In the months after the Joint Forum, the Lower Saxonian and Scottish partners worked closely together and developed the White Paper: Energizing Democratic Partnerships – Securing Electricity from Democratic Friends (only available in English). The White Paper provides first impetus for developing a strategic energy partnership. It stresses the importance of international collaboration to support the net zero policies of the Lower Saxonian and Scottish governments, but similarly create synergies for the overall process of energy transformation by complementing the weaknesses of the one with the strengths of the other.
The text of the White Paper may be found here:
Similarly, the panel discussion may be rewatched our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSWcwXtECMQ
On the basis of the White Paper, further activities will follow to build a solid network between Lower Saxonian and Scottish academics, politicians, industrial partners and other stakeholders such as civil society. If you are interested in getting in touch with us, our partners, wish to collaborate, support the development of a network or otherwise contribute to the strategic energy partnership contact us via email@example.com!