“The importance of science for climate protection cannot be underestimated. We are, of course, privileged to have so many research institutes on our doorstep, and I am delighted that they have made such a firm commitment to achieving the emissions target set by the City of Potsdam,” said Potsdam’s Mayor Jann Jakobs (SPD). The latest IPCC report stresses that this is precisely what’s needed: a combination of ‘top-down’ climate protection strategies and bottom-up implementation by local communities.
Potsdam at the forefront of climate action
At the Climate Council meeting, IASS Scientific Director Mark Lawrence, who heads climate research at the institute, presented three IASS projects with a strong local dimension: The project Climate Change and Air Pollution: Research Needs and Pathways to Policy Implementation explores how pollution can be reduced in the context of sustainable urban planning. The researchers involved in this project recently published the results of a survey on a traffic measure implemented in Potsdam’s Zeppelinstraße. The Social Sustainability Barometer for the German Energiewende measures the Germans’ perceptions of how just the Energiewende is. Broad public support for the energy transition has regional consequences, as seen in the lignite phaseout. And strategies for dealing with these consequences are devised in the project “Structural Transformation in Lusatia”
Lawrence thanked Mayor Jakobs for many years of close cooperation and for making climate protection a top priority since he became chair of the Potsdam Climate Council when it was founded in 2008. With its application for a special grant from the German Ministry for the Environment as part of its “Masterplan 100% Climate Action” support programme in 2016, the City Council has made Potsdam one of 41 pioneering municipalities in the area of community climate action in Germany.
Businesses to contribute to Masterplan 100% Climate Action
The Climate Council aims to foster an ongoing dialogue on climate protection among citizens, the city administration, municipal enterprises, the private sector and science to ensure that climate goals are pursued in the interests of the entire community. As a complement to the Climate Council’s work, in future nine Potsdam-based research institutes want to bring their international experiences to bear in the Masterplan process and advance the goal of climate protection through close cooperation with municipal enterprises.
The following partners signed the declaration of intention for the “Klimapartnerschaft Stadt und Wissenschaft”: The City of Potsdam, ProPotsdam GmbH, Stadtwerke Potsdam GmbH, proWissen Potsdam e.V., the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy e.V., the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Engineering gGmbH, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research e.V., the Fachhochschule Potsdam, the University of Potsdam, and the Federal Foundation of Baukultur.