Headline: Blog

Im Blog des Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) schreiben Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter aus allen Bereichen des Instituts. Die Themen reichen von Forschungsergebnissen über Veranstaltungsberichte bis hin zu Kommentaren über politische Entwicklungen. Die Autorinnen und Autoren äußern auf dem IASS-Blog ihre persönliche Meinung.


Social Benefits of Renewable Energies

Boosted by impressive technological innovation and cost reductions, renewable energy in a growing number of countries is now primarily considered for its social and economic benefits. Among these benefits are opportunities for local value creation, for responding to growing energy demands and for reducing conflicts over scarce water, which are aggravated by fossil power generation.

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Federal States Introduce Schemes for Citizen Participation in Wind Energy Projects - Part 1

On 20 April 2016 the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern enacted the so-called “Citizen and Municipal Participation Law” in an effort to boost acceptance for new wind energy projects and ensure they add value to local economies. Thuringia has also adopted a set of voluntary guidelines for “Fair Wind Energy “ that aim to enhance the economic participation of citizens and towns in the wind energy sector.

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Soil Rehabilitation: A Field Mission to Kenya

I made my trip to Kenya in the middle of November 2015, not too sure what to expect of Kenyan culture. Flying into Kisumu, a city located on the shores of Lake Victoria, you can’t help but notice the lush green landscape below, stretching as far as the eye can see. You wouldn’t immediately suspect that this region is severely affected by land degradation. Yet the soils here and the people depending on them for their livelihoods need urgent help.

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Climate Migration post-Paris

In the aftermath of COP21 in December 2015, when the world celebrated the adoption of a new climate treaty, several commentators and academics asked an all important question: what about climate migrants? Many articles have since sprung up analysing whether and how climate migration has been addressed by the Paris Agreement.

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Methane Cracking – a Promising Bridge Technology on our Road to Decarbonization

Meeting global energy needs represents a key challenge for climate change mitigation. This is because the energy system today is dominated by fossil fuels, which emit a significant amount of CO2 to the atmosphere. In fact, the energy sector is responsible for the majority of anthropogenic emissions, contributing more than 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.[1] In order to avoid dangerous climate change it is crucial that we transition our global energy system away from fossil fuels and towards low-carbon, sustainable energy.

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Should We Print Money to Make the World More Sustainable?

Over a leisurely Sunday family dinner, when the conversation turns to putting the world to rights, your niece or second cousin may have asked you the following question: Why not simply create money and give it to poor people in order to make a better world?

You may have smiled at the ingenuity of this question and told them that this is simply not possible. Otherwise, money would just lose its value and inflation would rise.

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The CO2 Economy – The Transformation of Carbon Dioxide from a Liability to an Asset

Carbon Capture and Utilisation or Recycling (CCU or CCR) and related technologies could play an important role in a future sustainable and diversified energy supply with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CCU entails capturing CO2 from large emitters like coal-fired power plants and re-utilising it to manufacture useful products; as such, CCU represents an alternative to Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).

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Impressions from a first-timer at COP21

When I told friends and co-workers that I would be attending the COP21 climate summit, the first response I got was usually “cool!” followed by “so what are you actually going to do there??” Well, I knew what I would be doing there: for months now, I have been working on behalf of the IASS with partners from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to organize two side events on the connection between climate change and air quality in order to highlight how better air quality can have benefits for climate, health, and development.

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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 modernise.

On 11 November 2015, the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented the World Energy Outlook 2015 in Berlin. From the speech of the new IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, it was clear that the IEA is under pressure to modernise.

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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. Two Nepali colleagues and myself were on a field expedition, about to reach our research station for air quality monitoring at Gosaikunda (4,300 m.a.s.l.), which we reached after a 3-day walk along steep, narrow and very beautiful trails. The weather was favourable, dry, not too cold and calm. We were looking forward to seeing the sunrise along the white mountain peaks after having slept in a stone hut near the holy lake of Gosaikunda.

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The Arctic Circle - A Report from Reykjavik

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Reykjavik to attend Arctic Circle 2015, a large gathering bringing together scientists, policy makers, civil society, intergovernmental organisations and industry representatives (the accompanying short film provides a snapshot of the event).


The gathering is the brainchild of the Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and aims to serve as a platform to increase participation in Arctic dialogue and strengthen the in

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Governing the Climate in Cities

Urban areas account for more than 70% of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. If the top 50 emitting cities were a single country, its emissions would rank third globally, behind China and the United States. In addition to playing a major role in rising atmospheric CO2 and global warming, cities are also heat islands. A heat island is formed on the one hand from waste heat emitted from cars, poorly insulated buildings and industrial plants, and on the other from heat stored and reradiated from the artificial surfaces that cover our cities.

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Unusual Suspects

From September 14-18, 2015 our first urban LAB took place in Berlin, 5 days of intense action and discussions with a group of about 15 critical urban minds from all over the world. The topic we tackled was ‘Different Urbanisations’, as in the role and limits of importing/exporting urban patterns, technology and knowledge between different regions of the world.

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