Protecting the climate? Studies that attribute significant potential to biofuels employ controversial carbon accounting methods. © Dominique Bruneton/PhotoAlto/laif
Modern biofuels can help societies to become less dependent on fossil fuels.
(c) istock/rottadana
CO2 Mitigation is a crucial step but it alone cannot prevent dangerous and possibly catastrophic ...
Claus Leggewie © KWI/Volker Wiciok
Politicians have only a few decades to put into action the kinds ...
Industry 4.0 promises improved methods of production and business models. (c) istock/krystiannawrocki
A new report launched today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization ...
Potsdam Summer School participants in 2016. Image: IASS/Piero Chiussi
The rapid pace of change around the world is presenting humankind and human environments ...
Democratic participation benefits efforts to protect the climate. In response to growing hostility towards science, people in Paris and other cities took to the streets in the March for Science to demonstrate for academic freedom on 22 April 2017. © Augustin Le Gall/HAYTHAM-REA/laif
Politicians tend to think in election cycles, but many of the measures aimed at mitigating...
A walkable city set among green fields: Workshops across Norderstedt will support the ongoing development of a vision for a sustainable city by representatives of civil society, science, local government, and business. © Norderstedt
Affordable housing, sustainable mobility solutions, and demographic ...
The UN sustainable development goals were the focus of the Global Soil Week 2017. © IASS/Piero Chiussi
While none of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) focuses specifically on soil protection ...
Sea turtles face many threats in their marine habitat, not least from marine litter ©IASS / Carole Durussel
Sustainability Researchers Table Recommendations for UN Negotiations
What is the role of artistic intervention and aesthetic experience in sustainable development issues? IASS researchers are exploring this question together with a group of young researchers from Valparaíso. © Sonja Linke
How can art help us to find solutions to such pressing global challenges as climate ...
An exchange of ideas at different levels of politics has given new impetus to climate protection. © istock/Cecilie_Arcurs (symbolic image).
International agreements like the Paris Climate Agreement are vitally important for climate ...
On 5–9 June, experts on ocean governance and sustainability from around the world will meet at the United Nations’ Ocean Conference in New York. © istock/Global_Pics
Marine conservation takes centre stage at international UN conference on 5-9 June


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.

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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


Die ungewissen Klimakosten von Erdgas

Methanlecks in Europa, Russland und den USA und deren Auswirkungen auf die Nachhaltigkeit
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Generating socio-economic values from renewable energies

An overview of questions and assessment methods
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Mobilizing the co-benefits of climate change mitigation

Connecting opportunities with interests in the new energy world of renewables
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Die Integration dezentraler erneuerbarer Energien in deutsche Verteilnetze

Review der Regulierung und Ergebnisse exemplarischer Interviews
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Black Carbon in Europe

Targeting an Air Pollutant and Climate Forcer
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Poking holes in our mindsets: impressions from the Potsdam Summer School 2017

As an unprecedented weather event unfolded last week across the Atlantic Ocean, affecting Gulf Coast states and major cities in the United States as well as island communities throughout the Caribb

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Stop the blame game: Russia is waking up to climate change

During my last visit to Russia I was watching Russian TV – an awful source of propaganda and misinformation, according to many. To my surprise, one of the federal (i.e.

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Symposium: Social Sustainability

This symposium explores the concept of social sustainability from the perspectives of science and politics ...
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Luftchemie an der FU Berlin

Antrittssymposium von Prof. Tim Butler (IASS) zu den Chancen und Herausforderungen ...
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Soziale Nachhaltigkeit der Energiewende – wo stehen wir in Deutschland?

Wer findet die Energiewende ungerecht? Und wer sieht für sich eher Chancen?
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09.10.2017 to 12.10.2017

Climate Engineering Conference 2017

Climate engineering is becoming increasingly relevant within political, scientific, and cultural discussions of climate change...
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Vortrag: Gesellschaftlicher Wandel durch neue Geisteshaltungen?

Die Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit wird nicht nur durch Technologien und Politik zu erreichen sein ...
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Better Save Soil

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Let's Talk About Soil - English

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Outlaws in Air City (Fast Forward Science 2014)

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Engineering the climate?

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