Heike began working as a Tyndall Research Fellow at ECI in April 2007, where she is contributing to Tyndall Research Programme 1 - informing international climate policy on how international action on climate change can be effectively developed after 2012. Her research focuses is on analyzing options for international action on climate change, specifically on possible roles of non-nation state actors, emerging countries, and transnational networks and partnerships in a post-2012 international policy framework.
Heike's research interest lies in understanding how national boundaries can be bridged to solve trans-national or global environmental problems, and how local, national, and international levels of jurisdiction differ in their abilities to solve such problems. She began researching these questions after witnessing the Kyoto Conference in 1997, which triggered her interest in understanding how the Kyoto Protocol negotiations dealt with the multitude of different national interests. Her master?s thesis compared the negotiating positions and interests of the three major actors - the US, the EU, and Japan - and analyzed the negotiating dynamics and results. Her doctoral research focused on Japan?s ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. She examined and evaluated Japan?s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet its target under the Kyoto Protocol. More recently, Heike has examined the role of the sub-national level in mitigating climate change. She has been particularly interested in the interplay occurring between mitigation policies at the sub-national and the international regime level. She has paid particular attention to the case of California where the state is implementing a commitment under the Kyoto Protocol that has not been ratified by the federal government.