In the German elections on September 24, Germany’s Christian Democrat Union (CDU) emerged once again as the most popular party, securing a fourth term for Chancellor Angela Merkel. While the question of who will lead Germany was answered, the question of which parties will govern the country—and in what coalition—is far from settled. As coalition negotiations between the parties unfold against the backdrop of competing foreign and domestic agendas, the future of German energy and climate policy hangs in the balance.

Germany’s approach to clean energy on the world stage, namely its support for the Paris Climate Agreement and promotion of the clean energy transition as a foreign policy priority, is unlikely to change in any meaningful way. With strong domestic support for clean energy policy, there is also little doubt that the German energy transition, or Energiewende, will continue.

Rather, the question is one of ambition.

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European ambassadors to the United States on September 25 defended the nuclear deal with Iran, saying it is working, while warning that reopening negotiations would be a nonstarter and walking away from the deal would have serious consequences.

This joint defense comes as US President Donald J. Trump, who has to certify to the US Congress by October 15 that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement, has reiterated his displeasure with the deal.

Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig, said the onus is on those who seek to renegotiate the deal to prove that first, renegotiation is possible, and second, it will deliver better results. “We don’t think it will be possible to renegotiate it and we believe there is no practical, peaceful alternative to this deal,” Wittig said.

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In a year of unpredictable elections in the United States and in Europe, Germany’s federal elections on September 24 went as expected: Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-elected to a rare fourth term, signaling that a majority of Germans want more of the same for the next four years. And, why shouldn’t they? Germany has enjoyed low unemployment, historic budget surpluses, and is the undisputed (if reluctant) leader of Europe. But, despite the desire for stability among most, the elections also signaled a growing disenchantment with the mainstream and a desire to shake up German politics, even if just a bit.

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Atlantic Council experts share their take on the outcome of the German elections. Here’s what they have to say:

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Interview with the Atlantic Council’s Daniel Fried

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party came in first, which is good news. But the strong showing by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in elections on September 24 is evidence of the fact that the nationalist wave remains a significant factor in Europe, according to the Atlantic Council’s Daniel Fried.

“The populist and anti-liberal wave, which many had optimistically concluded had crested and was in decline in Europe after the French, Dutch, and Austrian elections is still a significant factor in European politics,” said Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future of Europe Initiative and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.

“The bottom line is that the election outcome is not the best, but it’s also not the worst,” said Fried, who, in his forty-year career in the Foreign Service, played a key role in designing and implementing US policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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Super hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have put a spotlight on US President Donald J. Trump’s policy position on climate change, which seems to deny the scientific reality. Although its “energy dominance” policy seeks to expand coal, oil, and gas, the Trump administration in June announced a “complete review of US nuclear energy policy” with the goal of revitalizing this energy resource the future of which is in serious doubt.

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After a series of missile tests over the past couple of months, it is clear that, left to its own devices, North Korea will continue to test its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) over the same trajectory and at greater distances into the Pacific. Frequent tests have proven that Pyongyang, despite international condemnation and an enhanced sanctions regime, is not reluctant to produce more missiles.

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Sweden is currently conducting its largest military exercises in over twenty years. Almost 20,000 Swedish troops are participating in Aurora17, which will run until September 29. They are joined by military units from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Norway, and the United States, which has sent more than 1,000 troops, including a Patriot missile battery, helicopters, and a National Guard tank company.

On the other side of the Baltic Sea, Russia has been mobilizing what are believed to be up to 100,000 troops for its major exercise, Zapad 2017, which includes Belarus.

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Canadian prime minister, South Korean president, pianist Lang Lang receive Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister and the recipient of the Atlantic Council’s 2017 Global Citizen Award, on September 19 delivered a passionate rallying cry to protect the alliances that have underpinned global security and prosperity since the end of World War II, warning that this decades-old global order is not cast in stone.

“Worldwide, the long-established international order is being tested,” Trudeau said, noting that Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its subsequent encroachment in Ukraine marked the first major territorial seizure in Europe since World War II.

“This is not the time for retrenchment,” said Trudeau. “This is a time for the Atlantic democracies to renew our commitment to universal standards of rights and liberty enforced through a multilateral rules-based order that has promoted peace and stability, and stood the test of time.”

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In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 19, US President Donald J. Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, called Iran a “rogue nation” and the nuclear deal with that country “an embarrassment,” said the United States was “prepared to take further action” on Venezuela, and lashed out at what he called a “corrupt, destabilizing” regime in Cuba.

Atlantic Council experts provided their analysis on the speech. Here is what they had to say:

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