The workshop brought together policymakers and academics from California and Germany to address the critical challenges facing these two jurisdictions as they pursue the decarbonization of their economies. Each panel session included presentations and invited responses to be followed by a structured conversation with all participants. Thank you to everyone who joined us for this full-day workshop.



 Opening Comments

  • Senator Henry Stern (California’s 27th Senate District)

Political Economy of Decarbonization

  • “Political economy of climate policy” Nina Kelsey, Jonas Meckling, Eric Biber (George Washington University and University of California, Berkeley)
  • “Sequencing in climate policy to ratchet up stringency over time” Christian Flachsland (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change)
  • Commentator: John Zysman
10:25-10:45am Break
10:45-12:30pm Politics of Carbon Pricing and Revenue Allocation

  • “Strategic transfers to enhance carbon pricing stringency” Ulrike Kornek (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change)
  • “The distribution of asset value created through carbon pricing” Dallas Burtraw (Resources for the Future)
  • Commentator: Franzjosef Schafhausen
12:30-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-3:15pm Environmental Additionality and Federalist Relationships among Jurisdictions

  • “Unilateral climate policy in a federalist system” Ottmar Edenhofer (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
  • “Iterative Federalism” Ann Carlson (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Commentators: Michael Hanemann and Miranda Schreurs
3:15-3:45 Break
3:45-5:30pm Decarbonizing Electric Grids and Electrifying Transportation

  • “The politics and economics of decarbonizing electric grids in CA and the US” Jim Bushnell (University of California, Davis)
  • “More than enough: the economics and politics of abundant renewable energy in Germany” Michael Pahle (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
  • Commentator: Commissioner Carla Peterman

Public Panel

On Tuesday, 3 Oct from 4-5:30pm, the Institute for Government Studies hosted a public panel on these topics alongside participants in the workshop. More information on this panel is available here.


Eric Biber
UC Berkeley School of Law

Dallas Burtraw
Resources for the Future

Christian Flachsland
Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons & Climate Change

Michael Pahle
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Resources for the Future

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)

Mercator Foundation



Luke Sherman 
+1 510.642.7235