University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign invited Former Member Mr. Javor and Mr. Henkel to participate in an event on 12th of November at 7pm called “The New Speed of Politics: the European Parliament and the U.S. between Solidarity and Conflict”. This moderated panel discussion explored what roles the EU Parliament and U.S. Congress can play in repairing transatlantic relations in the coming years. Mr. Javor and Mr. Henkel answered a couple of questions that moderator Peter Christensen prepared. Mr. Christensen is an environmental economist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences of University of Illinois. The Former Members responded to questions such as: The expansion of the Executive Power has made presidential elections more eventful in determining the state of transatlantic relations. In light of the result of the U.S. presidential election, what can we expect for the next four years of the incoming administration? What role can the Parliament and Congress play to provide stability regardless of the political parties in power? How strongly do members of the European Parliament prioritise ideological alliances along the right/left axis over the U.S./European axis? Has the EU Parliament been involved in developing and verifying the evolution of transatlantic relations?
On November 18 at 7PM (CET), Hans-Olaf Henkel and World business Chicago participated in a ‘virtual coffee’ event (Zoom meeting) with students to reflect on the lecture of November 12 about the new speed of politics.
“If you look at the best thing that the EU achieved, it is the common market. But we don’t have a common market in the energy market. Each country is allowed to determine its own energy needs. If you have a European commitment but then leave it to each country to determine its own energy needs, you don’t achieve a common market. I believe that the ability to forcibly achieve this goal, top down, is very limited.”
“We must never forget that Europe is also competing with the rest of the world — China, the U.S., India. Nuclear energy is not something we can just ignore because we happen not to like it.”
“We need to do more on CO2 storage; we have got to face the fact that soon there will be 10 billion people in the world and what that means for CO2 emissions. Rather than always trying to spend a lot of money to reduce CO2 emissions, we should also spend some money to make sure that CO2, once emitted, can be removed.”
“To build new nuclear plants, simply from a market perspective, is not a solution because they are much more expensive than other forms of energy production. Nuclear energy is not a good competitor for renewable energy, not only because of security or environment concerns, but simply because of financial and market considerations.”
“Technology itself is not the goal and does not solve problems alone. I think that we have to use technology, but we shouldn’t simply rely on technology and assume that it will solve all of our problems.”
“Some technologies of carbon capture and storage can be part of the mix of solutions, but CCS is very expensive and also has inherent risks. We should not rely solely on human technology. There are already carbon-eating machines: plants. Reforestation could be the best way to eat carbon from the atmosphere.”
Hans-Olaf Henkel and Benedek Javor during their online lecture, moderated by Peter Christensen.
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