Germany’s energy transition road show
Title: Travelling exhibition on Germany’s energy transition
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Overall term: 2013 to 2019
The transition to a sustainable energy supply based on energy efficiency and renewable energies is a key issue in development and climate policy throughout the world. By 2015, the international community had finally acknowledged the need for a fundamental shift in energy policy when it drew up the Paris Agreement and adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Against this background, there is enormous interest around the globe in Germany’s energy transition. There is often some scepticism, however, when discussion turns to the costs, feasibility and practical implementation of this transition.
Together with the German missions abroad, the Federal Foreign Office seeks to harness this interest. By sharing knowledge and experience, it aims to contribute to a global energy transition, increase understanding worldwide for Germany’s energy strategy, and enhance the country’s image as a location for technology and innovation. A positive international reception can also have a beneficial impact on the success of the energy transition within Germany.
The travelling exhibition on Germany’s energy transition provides the Federal Foreign Office and its missions abroad with an effective communication tool. This road show clearly and comprehensively showcases Germany’s energy transition and promotes international cooperation on securing a sustainable energy supply.
An interactive travelling exhibition has been created, targeting members of the general public worldwide with an interest in energy policy. Six different versions are available – two in English, and one in each in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and German. These can be ordered and set up anywhere in the world through the German missions abroad. GIZ worked with other service providers on developing the technical content of the exhibition. It advises the Federal Foreign Office on how to use the road show effectively and in compliance with general foreign and development policy considerations, and coordinates its presentation for optimum impact.
The road show sets out to raise global public awareness of Germany’s energy transition and challenge preconceptions. It also rectifies widespread misapprehensions about the economic costs of energy transition, the political motives, its execution and its impact on energy security. Germany’s image as a responsible international player and as a location for technology and innovation is consolidated. The public takes on board the notion that there is a worldwide need for a shift towards a sustainable energy supply and recognises the possibility of international cooperation in this area.
The travelling exhibition has already toured more than 80 locations in about 40 countries and has been seen by several ten thousand people. Exhibition sites have included the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, the foyer of the UN General Assembly in New York and the Palace of Nations in Geneva. High-profile representatives of the German Federal Government and the host countries have attended opening events.
The road show enables GIZ to complement the Federal Foreign Office’s communication activities in relation to the 2030 Agenda and effectively combines sustainability issues with other areas of foreign policy.
It includes a visitor survey. More than 70 per cent of visitors claim that they have learned something new in the road show and a further 15 per cent that they have learned something that was partly new. Around three quarters of visitors agree that Germany’s energy transition is worthwhile, while another 15 per cent or so feel that it is worthwhile to some extent. Visitors respond similarly when asked whether an energy transition would be worthwhile in their own country. Even if the findings from this survey are not representative, it is already evident that the road show is fostering knowledge transfer. The exhibition has also attracted widespread coverage in the press.