China held the G20 Presidency in 2016. At the G20 meeting in September in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China, the heads of state and government of the nineteen leading industrial nations and the EU resolved to step up their efforts for climate protection. © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Together, the G20 states are responsible for over 70 per cent of energy ...
Under the leadership of Mark Lawrence, Patrizia Nanz and Ortwin Renn (f.l.), IASS re-searchers will focus on three policy processes – the energy transition and the implementa-tion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. © IASS/Hendrik Rauch
The energy transition, climate policy, and the implementation of the UN ...
The energy transition touches on diverse interlinking and interdependent systems. © iStock/ Daniel Barnes
The implementation of the energy transition is already well under way.
At the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) the African Union and its member states ...
Have journalists become mouthpieces for economists? Rainer Hank, Ferdinand Knauß, Ortwin Renn and presenter Manuel Rivera (f.l.t.r.). © Richard Häussler/stratum lounge
It’s difficult to imagine what business journalism would be without the wealth of statistics ...
Dealing with the impacts of climate change was the focus of the Potsdam Summer School, which was attended by 37 outstanding young talents from 26 countries. © IASS
Even if ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are achieved, the impacts ...
(c) Janna Shakeroff Theisen
Helping to strengthen people’s and governments’ ability to achieve good ocean governance ...
“Political pressure is required” – speaking at the World Water Week, IASS researcher Sybille Röhrkasten stressed that relying on the energy sector to regulate its activities sufficiently will put water security at risk. © IASS
Meeting the rising demand for energy is a central prerequisite for economic growth ...
At the Potsdam Summer School, early-career scientists and young professionals discuss the impacts of climate change. (c) IASS/David Ausserhofer
From global sea level rise to extreme events like floods or droughts – even with ambitious ...
Our website is a central platform for the IASS to communicate its research ...
Citizen participation has become part and parcel of the development of public works.
Roughly 500 people gathered in Cologne on 21 May 2015 to protest against the introduction of a climate levy on older power plants. The protesters formed a human chain around Cologne Cathedral and handed out bags of brown coal to the public. © Markus Feger
As part of its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand renewable ...


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


Advancing an International Energy Transition Policy in North Africa and Beyond

Recommen-dations to support inter-national energy transitions.
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Sustainable Land Management in Western Kenya – Lessons Learnt and Future Directions

Report from the Institutional Stakeholders Workshop in Kisumu; 2 – 3rd March 2016
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Agriculture, Ammonia, and Air Pollution

Facts about agriculture as a source of air pollutants
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Technological Options for the Future European Grid

Key importance for the future grid are an integrated energy policy and the coordination of efforts.
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How awesome are renewable energy auctions?

The IASS has produced what is probably the most comprehensive overview on the results of recent renewable energy auctions yet.

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Cycle or Walk to IASS Challenge

Happy and motivated people, a sunny day, delicious homemade pastries, a short opening speech, and there we were—ready to launch our first Cycle or Walk to IASS Challenge on this morning of 27 June

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07.11.2016 to 08.11.2016

Workshop: The Current Trends in Urban Sustainability Science and Practice

With more than half of the world’s people living in cities, cities are at the core ...
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21.11.2016 to 24.11.2016

Symposium on Collective Behaviour Change

The Taiwan KLASICA symposium is the first in a series of events intended to advance understanding of and stimulate action on collective behaviour change ...
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Public Talk: The Cultural Affordances of Climate Fiction

The talk by IASS senior fellow Julia Leyda explores climate change narratives in contemporary fiction and film.
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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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