Headline: Blog

Questionable methane estimates in the gas industry: the lesson from the U.S.

A study recently published in Science suggests that losses of the greenhouse gas methane from the US upstream gas chain might be significantly higher than reported in current estimates, regardless of the exploitation technique used. A correct interpretation of these scientific finding tells us that the same is likely to be true for natural gas production systems in other parts of the world. Outdated databases and high uncertainties associated with monitoring and reporting systems worldwide should therefore be addressed as a matter of urgency.

read more

Nature with a Price Tag: How Payments for Ecosystem Services Work

“Economists are sounding the alarm […] bee death is wiping out up to 300 billion euro” (Die Welt, 2013). Cries of despair like this, which illustrate the interdependency of humans and nature, are commonplace nowadays. In recognition of the vital contribution they make to our lives, scientists refer to all of these functions as ecosystem services. In this line of thinking, nature provides a service that is worth paying for.

read more

The log and the flame: what fire can teach us about the transformation towards sustainability

The “Green Me Global Festival for Sustainability” is an annual event hosted at different locations around the world. Recent iterations of the festival have explored the elements earth, water and air across film screenings, discussions, and other initiatives. Researchers from the IASS have contributed to a number of these events over the years. The eleventh GreenMe Festival will take place in Berlin later this year under the motto “Action, Passion, Fire”. This prompted me to explore the themes of fire and sustainability in a dinner speech at a recent function to which sponsors and supporters of the festival were invited in early May. The following essay draws upon my comments there.

read more
Climate Action

Planned Commission Masks Bad Leadership

Major societal reforms call for strong political leadership, viable ideas, and political majorities. Yet in the implementation of Germany’s Energiewende, the centrepiece of efforts to achieve its climate protection goals, alarm bells are sounding in all three areas, notes Daniela Setton.

read more