Protecting the world’s oceans can impact positively on other sustainable development goals, such as efforts to reduce poverty. © istock/stock_colors
Interactions between the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals can ...
© istock/idealistock
In the build up to the G20 Summit in Hamburg on 7–8 July 2017, a network of research ...
© istock/denizbayram
Is digitalisation benefiting efforts to protect the environment? How will Industry 4.0 ...
(c) IASS/Rolf Schulten
Potsdam institute emphasises the transformative quality of its studies
Federal Minister for Education and Research Johanna Wanka (third from left) and the co-chairs of the new science platform, Martin Visbeck (DKN Future Earth; left), Patrizia Nanz (IASS) and Dirk Messner (SDSN Germany) hope that the platform will contribute to the implementation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy and the 2030 Agenda. © FONA – Forschung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung
New science platform to support the Sustainable Development Goals of the German Federal ...
While renewables have made significant advances in the power sector, options for a renewable future in the aviation sector remain significantly more uncertain. © istock/narvikk
A new report has revealed an overwhelming consensus that renewable power will dominate ...
(c) istock/visdia
A clear majority of citizens is in favour of renewables, most agree that "climate change ...
Arctic temperatures are rising at a rate that is twice the global average. The effects of this warming can be felt around the world. © Kathrin Keil
Long treated as a remote and isolated region, climate change and new economic prospects ...
Terraces like those shown here in the Lushoto research area in Tanzania are a form of sustainable land management. © Judith Rosendahl
Tanzania and Malawi are agricultural countries: more than two thirds of the population ...
The adoption of an integrated approach to air quality and climate change could help to reduce unintended side-effects as well as delivering environmental and economic benefits.
From their emission sources to their impacts on climate, human health, and ecosystems ...
(c) FAO
New guidelines developed under the leadership of IASS researchers provide strategic ...


The Paris Agreement and Global Climate Policy

Human activities are largely responsible for climate change, which is already having an observable effect on our planet. Particularly emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and gas have led to an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Key indicators of climate change – including rising average temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels – are expected to have devastating consequences for humans and environments. Tackling the challenge posed by climate change will require a coordinated and global effort. Read More

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

An important crossroads: at the end of September the UN member states voted on a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to initiate a global transformation towards sustainability. The Sustainable Development Goals are more extensive than their precursor, the eight Millennium Development Goals, which have often been criticised for not giving enough attention to the ecological dimensions of sustainability, or for considering it only in isolation. The primary goal remains the eradication of poverty. Read More

CO₂: From Waste to Feedstock

Economic activities and consumer behaviour in developed countries are currently based mainly on the use of fossil-based raw materials, whose emissions are largely responsible for anthropogenic climate change. In efforts to reduce human effects on the climate, the avoidance of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is and remains the most important measure. But viewing the greenhouse gas CO2 as a source of carbon can also make sense. In recent years scientists have been investigating so-called Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technologies. The aim of these technologies is to re-cycle the CO2 contained in emissions as a feedstock for industrial processes. This captured CO2 could replace fossil-based carbon as a component of materials and energy carriers, thereby creating a carbon cycle. Read More

Sustainable Arctic Futures: A Regional and Global Challenge

Temperatures in the Arctic are currently rising twice as fast as in most other regions on the planet, a phenomenon most strikingly evidenced by the decreasing extent and volume of Arctic sea ice over the last decades. The processes currently under way in the Arctic are embedded in climate, economic, legal and social systems and processes that reach far beyond the Arctic Circle.

Read More

Air Pollution and Climate Change

Air pollution and climate change are closely related. The main sources of CO2 emissions – the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – are not only key drivers of climate change, but also major sources of air pollutants. Furthermore, many air pollutants that are harmful to human health and ecosystems also contribute to climate change by affecting the amount of incoming sunlight that is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere, with some pollutants warming and others cooling the Earth. These so-called short-lived climate-forcing pollutants (SLCPs) include methane, black carbon, ground-level ozone, and sulfate aerosols. They have significant impacts on the climate. Read More

Climate Engineering

While there is still hope that risks from climate change can be limited by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, there is also a perception that ‘time is running out’. This perception of a looming watershed has given rise to calls for research on intentional, large-scale interventions into the climate system, referred to as either ‘climate engineering’ or ‘geoengineering’. Both terms describe a diverse and largely hypothetical array of methods for manipulating the global climate in order to moderate or forestall some of the numerous impacts of climate change. Read More


In the coming decades, the development of renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind and solar will play a major role in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and making our energy system more sustainable. But the places where RES are available or would be most efficient are often located far away from the densely populated and industrial areas where the energy is needed: on the open sea in the case of wind and in sunnier climes in the case of solar. This means that the construction of new power lines needs to go hand in hand with RES development. In Germany for instance, expanding the electrical grid has become a crucial precondition for the success of the Energiewende. Read More


Black Carbon in Europe

Targeting an Air Pollutant and Climate Forcer
Read More

The Uncertain Climate Cost of Natural Gas

Assessment of methane leakage discrepancies in Europe, Russia and the US, and implications for sustainability
Read More

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal for the Oceans

Three key recommen- dations for achieving oceans sustainability.
Read More

Concentrated Solar Power

Facts about concentrated solar power technologies to produce clean energy
Read More

Clean Air for All by 2030?

Three central policy recommen-dations
Read More

How green is a “Green City”?

A review of existing indicators and approaches
Read More


Stop shaming geo-engineering researchers!

Environmentalists are often critical of technological fixes to problems caused by technology.

Read More
Climate Policy under Donald Trump: What is to Become of America’s Energy Transition?

Clean energy was a key climate policy instrument during the Obama presidency.

Read More



Oceans in the 2030 Agenda: The role of Regional Governance

Side event at the United Nations "The Ocean Conference" in New York ...
Read More


Lesung und Gespräch: Das Risikoparadox

Im Rahmen des Lteraturfestivals LIT:potsdam sprechen Ortwin Renn und Harald Welzer über echte und falsche Gefahren ...
Read More

22.05.2017 to 24.05.2017

Global Soil Week 2017

The Global Soil Week 2017 aims to contribute to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ...
Read More

04.09.2017 to 13.09.2017

Potsdam Summer School

Potsdam Summer School brings together talented early career researchers ...
Read More


Better Save Soil

Watch video

Let's Talk About Soil - English

Watch video

Outlaws in Air City (Fast Forward Science 2014)

Watch video

Engineering the climate?

Watch video