Major Papers


Climate change, climate policy, Greenhouse gases, Energiewende, Federalism


Climate change has become one of the most difficult problems that humankind is confronted with in recent times, especially since the problem seems to defy most policies developed to curb it. In a problem-solving context, it is classified as a wicked problem and by far, the most concerning environmental problem humans have had to face. As much as many climate mitigation efforts have failed across the globe, a couple of them have also gained some success. The German Energiewende is one such case. The Energiewende, according to most authors and observers, has been a resounding success, but the problem is that the assertion tends to be based solely on a single state level analysis with the German political and environmental elements as the standards of measurement. No serious comparative study has been done on the policy in terms of the possibility to replicate it in other jurisdictions. In this regard, this paper seeks to investigate if the German Energiewende’s success is limited to Germany alone due to its federal system peculiarities or it can be replicated in other countries like Canada. Canada is selected for this comparative study because though Canada, like Germany, is a federal state, the federal government has done little to ensure a successful national climate policy. Besides, the few attempts made by the federal government to develop and implement a national climate legislation have often attracted opposition from the provincial governments. This study thus will shed light on what Germany did differently, how Germany is politically different from Canada and how that has contributed to the success story of Germany’s Energiewende.

Primary Advisor

G. Callaghan

Program Reader

J. Essex

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year