On June 6, Germany’s Research Minister Anja Karliczek and Environment Minister Svenja Schulze announced the creation of a scientific platform for the German Climate Action Plan 2050. Karliczek stressed the reliance of Germany’s climate policy on good scientific research. The scientific platform, she explained, was a way of continuing this practice in the area of policy implementation. As Schulze noted in her own address, the climate plan’s ambitious measures in transport, construction, industry, and agriculture offered an opportunity to modernise Germany’s economy.
A platform for guidance and decision-making
Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 contains concrete targets for reducing greenhouse gases in various sectors. Research and innovation play a prominent role in the plan, which includes wide-ranging forms of science-based input and supervision. The scientific platform is part of these efforts. The platform will assess climate change-related topics and provide guidance and knowledge for reviewing and updating the plan’s package of measures. It will also consider the social and economic effectiveness, costs, consequences, opportunities, and side effects of the measures in each sector. Finally, the platform’s interdisciplinary partnership of scientific and sociological research institutes will contribute to regular exchanges between science, society, and politics.
Effective climate action requires changes at the political, economic, and individual levels
“Mitigating climate change is about more than cutting carbon dioxide emissions,” Ortwin Renn says. “We need to promote behaviours and economic practices that combine a high quality of life with low energy and resource use.” Doing so, he continues, “will require us to change our policies, business models, and individual behaviours.” Renn, a sociologist by training, heads IASS projects on the regional and international implementation of the clean-energy transition, on global threats from systemic risks, and on the effects of digitalisation on sustainable development.