Alexander Ochs, Director, Climate and Energy Program

Contact Information
Department: Research
Title: Director, Climate and Energy Program
Phone: +1 (202) 745-8092

Program Director

Alexander Ochs is a climate and energy policy, regulation and governance expert. Since 2009, he is Director and since 2015 Senior Director of Climate and Energy at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, D.C. where he leads a growing team of researchers and is a member of the Institute’s management team. Alexander currently also acts as President of the Forum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks (FACET) and Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University. He was a steering committee member of the Low Emissions Development Global Partnership (LEDS-GP) is the Founding Chair of the LEDS-GP Energy Working Group (EWG). Alexander also serves as an adviser to the German Government’s International Climate Initiative and on a number of other advisory boards.

Alexander held senior research and/or teaching positions at the Center for Clean Air Policy, Princeton University, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), George Washington University, City University of New York, as well as Freie and Humboldt universities in Berlin. At SWP, he founded the International Network to Advance Climate Talks (INTACT), a transatlantic initiative that over the years brought together hundreds of climate decision makers and experts from different professional backgrounds including policymaking, NGOs, industries, and academia.

In 2011, Alexander Ochs received the Sustainable Future Award of the Austrian Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs. In 2012, he was appointed to the French National Research Agency High-level Evaluation Commission and in 2015 as advisor to UNEP's One Gigaton Coalition. A co-editor of three books, author of numerous academic reports and articles, director of two documentary films, and frequent contributor to public media, Alexander was a member of the German delegation to the UN climate negotiations, an Aspen Institute Young Leader and an elected member of tt-30.

Over the course of his career, Alexander has been engaged on climate and energy issues at the highest level of decision-making in all major world regions. His areas of expertise include climate, energy and environment policies of corporations, municipalities, provinces, countries and regions around the world; international climate negotiations; conventional and renewable energy technology, market trends, and policies; low-emissions growth strategies; transatlantic relations; global governance; UN reform; North-South and South-South cooperation; environmental security; human development indicators; international relations theory; discourse analysis. In 2010, he developed a methodology to design development pathways that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable and can be applied by jurisdictions at any level from the local to the global. These Sustainable Energy Roadmaps have since been applied successfully in three countries as well as two world regions, with a number of new geographic areas upcoming.

Alexander studied at the Universities of Cologne and Munich where he graduated with a M.A. in political science, philosophy and literature. He is fluent in German and English.

>> View Alexader Ochs' CV (English)

>> View Alexander Ochs' CV (Francais)


Selected Publications


  • Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) Baseline Report and Assessment. Worldwatch Institute. Oct 2015 (Project Director).
  • Harnessing the Dominican Republic’s Sustainable Energy Resources. Worldwatch Institute. Jul 2015 (Project Director).
  • Sustainable Electricity Roadmap for the Dominican Republic. Worldwatch Institute/International Climate Initiative. Dec 2014 (Project Director, Co-Author).
  • Roadmap to a Sustainable Electricity System: Harnessing Haiti’s Sustainable Energy Resources. Worldwatch Institute/International Climate Initiative. Nov 2014 (Project Director, Co-Author).
  • ECOWAS Renewable Energy Status Report & Executive Summary. ECREEE/REN-21. Nov 2014 (Project Director).
  • Study on the Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean under the IDB Climate Change Evaluation. IDB RFP #14-002. Sep 2014. (Project Director, Co-Author)
  • Negotiating Climate Change as If Development Really Mattered. Outreach, COP-19, Warsaw, 18 Nov 2013.
  • Jamaica Sustainable Energy Roadmap: Pathways to an Affordable, Reliable, Low-Emission Electricity System. Worldwatch Institute/International Climate Initiative, Oct 2013 (Project Director, Co-Author).
  • The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America. Worldwatch Institute/INCAE/AEA/CDKN, Report. June 2013 (Project Director, Co-Author).
  • Nuclear Power Recovers Slightly, But Global Future Uncertain. Vital Signs, Worldwatch Institute, October 2013 (with Michelle Ray).
  • Communicating Sustainability. Perspektiven der Nachhaltigkeit in Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Boehlau-Verlag, Vienna, February 2013 (Co-Editor, Introduction, Chapter One).
  • Renewable Energy’s Natural Resource Impacts. In: State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C. 2013, p.84 - 98 (with Shakuntala Makhijani).
  • More Energy for the Negotiations. Outreach, COP-18, Doha, 28 November 2012.7
  • A New Sustainable Energy Model. In: Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book 2012, London, 2012: p. 147-149.
  • United States climate policy: EPA regulations as an alternative pathway to comprehensive federal action? IDDRI/Science Po. Working Papers 15/11. Paris. (with C. Serre and E. Guerin).
  • Country Perspective: The United States. In: Nina Netzer & Judith Gouverneur (Eds.), Saving Tomorrow - Today? International Perspectives in the Run-Up to the UN Climate Change Conference 2011 in Durban, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung: October 2011, pp. 36-41.
  • Estrategia para un Sistema de EnergĂ­a Sustentable: Aprovechamiento de los Recursos Eolicos y Solares de La Republica Dominicana. Worldwatch/Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America. Report. Aug. 2011 (Project Director, Co-Author).
  • Active, Innovative, Dissonant – and Effective? Multi-Level Climate Policy in North America. Climate Policy, 6/2011: pp. 1386-1388.
  • Sustainable Energy Roadmaps: Guiding the Global Shift to Domestic Renewables. Worldwatch Report #187, Washington DC, March 2011 (with Shakuntala Makhijani).
  • Alternating Currents: How Global and Domestic Energy Trends will Affect the European Union, the United States, and the Transatlantic Partnership in 2020. In: Dan Hamilton & Kurt Volker (Eds.), Transatlantic  2020: A Tale of Four Futures, Washington, DC: Center for Transatlantic Relations, 2011: pp. 215-256 (with Shakuntala Makhijani).
  • Value of Fossil Fuel Subsidies Declines, National Bans Emerging. Vital Signs, 11 May 2011.
  • Mapping the future: Why bidding farewell to fossil fuels is in our interests – and how it can be done. Climate Action 2010. London & Nairobi: UNEP & Sustainable Development International.
  • From Flop’enhagen to Can’tcun? US climate policy before the mid-term elections and the UN summit. Bridges vol. 27, Oct 2010
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in China: Current Status and Prospects for 2020. Worldwatch Report 182, September 2010 (with Haibing Ma et al).
  • Implications of a Low-Carbon Energy Transition for U.S. National Security. Worldwatch Policy Paper. April 2010.
  • Towards a Global Green Recovery – Supporting Green Technology Markets. Report commissioned by the Policy Planning Staff of the German Federal Foreign Office, Berlin: Atlantic Initiative, 26 August 2009.
  • Overcoming the Lethargy: Climate Change, Energy Security, and the Case for a Third Industrial Revolution. AICGS policy report #34, Washington: July 2008.
  • European Climate Diplomacy: The Challenges and Opportunities Ahead. European Foreign Policy Challenges, European Council on Foreign Relations, Brussels, 2008.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? Europe, the United States, and China at the World Climate Conference. FACET Commentary No. 6/2008
  • The Failures of American and European Climate Policy: International Norms, Domestic Politics, and Unachievable Commitments. Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 7, No. 4, November 2007, pp. 149-151.
  • From Mars and Venus Down to Earth. David Michel, Climate Policy for the 21st Century, Brookings: Washington, DC 2005: p. 35-76.9 (with Josh Busby)
  • Towards a Transatlantic Consensus on Climate Change. Loveno di Menaggio, Italy, 2004 (Co-Editor).
  • Sustainable Climate Protection Policies. Ebenhausen & Berlin 2000 (Co-Editor).