Headline: Energy Transitions and Societal Change - News

Social Sustainability Barometer

How Is the Energy Crisis Affecting Public Opinion on the Energy and Transport Transitions in Germany?

Is the current energy crisis putting the brakes on climate action? Undaunted by the growing financial burden, support for the energy transition remains strong in Germany. Despite the spectre of skyrocketing energy prices, a broad section of the public wants to see the government double down on its efforts to achieve climate neutrality. This is the conclusion of the annual “Social Sustainability Barometer 2022”.

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Energy Transition

Technology Transfer Deficits Jeopardize Climate Targets

Many developing countries have made their nationally determined climate contributions submitted under the Paris Agreement conditional on receiving climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building support. However, developed countries have so far failed to deliver tech transfer to the extent promised. According to a new study, public-private partnerships and other energy initiatives can only partially make up for this shortfall. While their role in supporting the growth of low-carbon energy systems in the Global South is proving crucial, their contribution in terms of technology transfer is insufficient.

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New Book Explains Basics of CO2 Utilisation Technologies

While CO2 is one of the main causes of climate change, it also contains the carbon that we urgently need in everyday life, for example for plastics, shampoo and fuel. An IASS research project has produced the book “CO2-Nutzung für dummies” (“CO2 utilisation for dummies”) to familiarise readers with the basics of CO2 recycling.

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Does Industry Drive Politics?

Does a strong renewable energy (RE) industry lead to more ambitious renewable energy policies? Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) conclude: Yes, countries with clean energy industries increase ambition in the following years. So governments should address the distribution of risks and benefits of the energy transition in their policy design as local value creation can be a key component to promoting more ambitious target policies in line with the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C goal.

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The Arabian Peninsula Lacks a Sense of "Environmental Citizenship"

One of the new IASS Fellows this year is Natalie Koch. She is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Koch is currently researching the geopolitics of sustainability and "post-oil" futures in the Arabian Peninsula. In this interview, she discusses her research project and the extent to which the war in Ukraine may be accelerating Europe's transformation to a renewable energy supply.

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Business Models for CO2 Mineralisation

The cement industry is responsible for about seven per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. To encourage the decarbonisation of this industry, policymakers and the industry must find ways to incentivise reductions. A study from the Heriot-Watt University and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) gives us a first look at how CO2 mineralisation can reduce emissions from cement production by up to 33 per cent at no additional cost – under the right conditions.

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CO2 Mineralisation in the Cement Industry: Experts Call for Better Data on Societal Impacts

As a major contributor to climate change, the cement sector must significantly reduce its CO2 emissions. A promising technology to do this is CO2 mineralisation, which binds greenhouse gases (GHG) to minerals. But giving this technology the push it needs will require the support of important stakeholders. IASS researchers have examined the priorities they have in developing CO2 mineralisation.

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Transitioning From a Linear to a Circular Economy

How will industrial value chains transform as decarbonisation gains momentum? Together with the IGBCE’s Foundation for Labour and Environment and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the German Energy Agency (dena) has published a report examining the interdependencies affected by this transformation – a topic that will receive more attention from policymakers in the future.

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IASS Discussion Paper

Monitoring the Global Hydrogen Economy

Green hydrogen is set to make an important contribution to decarbonising industry, aviation and heavy transport. An IASS Discussion Paper presents a monitoring framework to systematically compile the most important trends and developments in the global hydrogen economy. Monitoring based on this framework could help to continuously review measures taken in the context of German and European hydrogen policy.

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IASS Policy Brief

Integrating International Quality Standards in Solar Auctions

Solar power is booming across the globe, and public auctions have become the dominant policy tool for deployment. But a lack of solar-specific experience and capacity in newly adopting countries can result in technical failures and lower solar plant performance. International quality standards used as technical requirements in the design of public auctions could offer a solution. An IASS Policy Brief outlines the potential benefits and challenges.

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Invigorating South Africa’s Deal to Phase Out Coal-Fired Power

In Glasgow, Germany pledged 700 million euros to support South Africa’s efforts to phase out coal-fired power. But to secure South Africa's coal phase-out without economic and socioeconomic losses, a regional and national plan must provide for a Just Transition. The COBENEFITS team at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Research (IASS) has presented an analysis on decarbonisation that makes data-based recommendations for action in South Africa's coal mining hub, Mpumalanga.

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The Pitfalls of Shifting to Low Carbon Technologies

The energy transition could become an opportunity or a geopolitical threat for a country. But what factors does the outcome depend on? This issue has recently been studied by several research teams. Prof. Andreas Goldthau reviews these efforts in the article “The Tricky Geoeconomics of Going Low Carbon”. He argues that structural factors and market power will decide which countries end up winners and which losers in decarbonising their economies.

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