A result of years of collaboration between Ohio University and Universität Leipzig, the Ohio-Leipzig Transatlantic Summit (https://ohioleipzigtransatlanticsummit.com/) brings together students from across multiple disciplines. Every year, a select group of students from Ohio University and Leipzig University come together to work on a project of transatlantic importance and present their findings to a panel of experts in the form of a policy brief. This year’s transatlantic summit included students from the fields of American studies, global studies, chemistry and journalism and focused on the issue of coal mining and environmental remediation in the Saxony region and climate change.
The students impressively tackled the issues of abandoned coal mines and the practice of flooding said coal mines after they have been abandoned by energy companies and presented alternatives to coal mines flooding, such as revegetation projects or wind farm projects. Another policy brief targeted the Lippendorf power plant near Leipzig and thoroughly examined its impact on air pollution and presented a number of viable policy options to curtail the power plant’s contribution to the changing climate conditions. Finally, a policy brief to the German energy company RWE followed the rhetoric of self-improvement of RWE’s public image to maintain its profitability and gave recommendations on public relations campaigns RWE could implement to position itself as a company with strong interest in the stability of state and local communities.
All presentations were well received by the panel of experts, including Dr. Andreas Fürst, Policy Expert at the U.S. Consulate General Leipzig, and Ulrike Carillo, Public Policy Contractor at the U.S. Consulate General Leipzig.