Soil protection in Ethiopia and worldwide was the topic of the first Ethiopian Soil Week...
Klaus Töpfer with Johanna Wanka (Federal Minister for Education and Research) and Adnan Z. Amin (General Director of IRENA) (c) IASS/David Ausserhofer
Today’s major challenges such as climate change or growing numbers of refugees can only...
Solid black carbon is a by-product of methane cracking. © KIT
IASS and KIT develop a method to produce hydrogen from methane.
Welgegund measurement station
Black carbon is an air pollutant that is harmful to human health and also contributes...
Discussions of soils and land resources must consider their multifarious interdependencies.
Alexander Müller (IASS) © IASS/Bettina Ausserhofer
Less than a month after the endorsement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development...
Ozone has all but disappeared as an environmental issue from political and public debate, even though the problem of ozone concentrations in the air we breathe is far from being resolved. © istock/Tony Tremblay
Alongside particulate matter, ozone is one of the main causes of adverse health effects...
The focus of Goal 14 is the conservation and sustainable utilisation of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. (c) istock/GoodOlga
Three weeks after the UN general assembly formally adopted new Sustainable Development Goals...
Road traffic is a major source of ozone precursors. (c) istock/napthtalina
Ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant to both humans and vegetation. It is produced...
(c) IASS/Norbert Michalke
While climate friendly cities and countries regularly make headlines, the efforts of rural...
What do you get when two scientists and two comedians try to raise awareness about air...


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


Superconducting Electric Lines

A promising option for future electricity grids?
Read More

Ground-Level Ozone - a Neglected Problem

Recommen-dations for politicians and policy-makers
Read More

The Potential of Multi-Level Global Climate Governance

This IASS Policy Brief explores the architecture of global climate governance.
Read More

The Innovation Fund as a Complementary Financing Model for Renewables

A proposal for a more broad-based financing of the Energiewende
Read More

Shale Gas and Fracking in Europe

A comprehensive overview of the main concepts and issues associated with shale gas and fracking.
Read More

The History, Impact and Limits of Economic Expertise

A close examination of the historical emergence of economic expertise
Read More


International Energy Policy: Shifting Towards Renewables

While the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is now established as a global voice for renewable energies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is coming under increased pressure to mod

Read More
An Unexpected Encounter in the Himalayas… with an Atmospheric Brown Cloud

On a May morning in 2012, while hiking up the Himalayas, I saw an ABC – an Atmospheric Brown Cloud – linger in the air.

Read More


14.12.2015 to 15.12.2015

Workshop on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests

The joint IASS-FAO workshop “Quo vadis, VGGT? Learning from the implementation experiences...
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