Headline: News

Konsortium HyPat

Global Atlas for a Green Hydrogen Future

Germany will remain dependent on energy imports for the foreseeable future. This will include green hydrogen imports from regions with abundant solar and wind energy resources. Supported by researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, the HyPat project is conducting a global assessment of green hydrogen potentials, as called for in Germany's National Hydrogen Strategy (Nationale Wasserstoffstrategie - NWS).

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New mobility in Berlin

Creation of Cycle Lane on Kottbusser Damm Leads to 22% Reduction in Air Pollution

Berlin's Mobility Act aims to strengthen eco-mobility by improving conditions in the city for cyclists, pedestrian traffic, and public transport. How do changes in mobility infrastructure affect air quality? Researchers from the IASS have evaluated the impacts of two trials: a bicycle lane and a community street space. Their measurements show that air pollution decreased significantly during these traffic trials.

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Study

The Opportunities and Risks of Digitalisation for Sustainable Development

Digitalisation can support transitions towards a more sustainable society if technologies and processes are designed in line with suitable criteria. This requires a systemic focus on the risks and benefits of digital technologies across the three dimensions of sustainable development: the environment, society, and the economy. This is the conclusion of a study prepared by a team of researchers at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. Applying this precautionary approach to digitalisation requires the active involvement of developers, users, and regulators.

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Energy transition

How Energy Modelling Influences Policymaking and Vice Versa

Energy models are used to explore different options for the development of energy systems in virtual "laboratories". Scientists have been using energy models to provide policy advice for years. As a new study shows, energy models influence policymaking around the energy transition. Similarly, policymakers influence the work of modellers. Greater transparency is needed to ensure that political considerations do not set the agenda for future research or determine its findings.

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Climate goals

Pandemic Exacerbates Challenges for International Energy Transition

The Covid-19 Crisis is deepening the divide between energy transition frontrunners and laggards. In a new publication, researchers from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam present an overview of the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the energy sector. Their findings show that low- and middle-income countries need more support in their efforts to ditch fossil fuels.

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Statement

Sustainable Development Strategy: "It's time to put transformations towards sustainable development on track"

"The German government has made important changes as it charts a new course for sustainability policy," commented the co-chairs of Science Platform Sustainability 2030 – Daniela Jacob, Mark Lawrence and Christa Liedtke – on the latest revision of the German Sustainable Development Strategy, which was approved and published by Cabinet on Wednesday, 10 March 2021. The introduction of six transformation areas in conjunction with enhanced reporting processes around the so-called "off-track indicators" and the related measures is a particularly promising development, they said.

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Cycle lanes

Safety First: Lessons Learned From Copenhagen Could Accelerate the Mobility Transition

Proponents of a “mobility transition” would do well to take lessons from such successful role models as Copenhagen, one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Which discourses fuelled Copenhagen’s transformation into the city of cycles it is today? IASS researcher Theresa Kallenbach studied the coverage on cycle traffic in Danish daily newspapers and discovered that road safety took centre-stage in a debate from which environmental concerns were all but absent.

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Futures

Making Space for Visionary Thinking? How Civil Society Organizations Shaped the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The development of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was supposed to be more inclusive, transparent and participatory than previous processes, and to this end, civil society organizations were explicitly involved in the process. In a new study, IASS researchers Henrike Knappe and Oscar Schmidt analyse the engagement of these organizations and the visions of a better future that guided their contributions.

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Systemic Risks

Reconciling Innovation and Precaution: IASS Researchers Report to the European Commission

The precautionary principle aims to anticipate and prevent hazards to the environment and human health from arising. It plays an important role in environmental and consumer protection and in the regulation of domestic markets, for example in the approval of products and processes. The challenge of reconciling this principle with efforts to foster innovation is the subject of ongoing debate in European politics and business communities. Researchers at the IASS have now presented their findings to the European Commission.

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