Headline: Governance for the Environment and Society

The research area Governance for the Environment and Society focuses on transformation processes arising in connection with environmental challenges and associated societal changes, in particular in relation to air quality, climate change, mobility, oceans and the Arctic Region. What policy measures and shifts in behaviour contribute to more sustainable outcomes? How can science support these processes, in particular through co-creative research? Research in this area is performed in cooperation with partners at the local, regional, and international levels from civil society, government, and the private sector. The research groups within this area employ a transdisciplinary and transformative approach in which the research questions are developed in cooperation with partners from science, policy-making, and civil society. The researchers support and cooperate with these partners within the framework of policy development and governance processes, reflect critically on this transdisciplinary practice and, in doing so, contribute to transformative research. Working closely with decision-makers and societal actors, the research group on Ocean Governance explores and develops new approaches to improve marine conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans. The Arctic Governance research group cooperates with stakeholders to gain a better understanding of and shape the societal, legal, and economic changes affecting the Arctic Region. In the group Climate Change and Air Pollution, researchers study the links and interactions between climate protection, air quality, and mobility in urban spaces. The Network for Investigating Clean Air Solutions - Himalaya aims to develop effective measures to improve air quality in Nepal. The research group The Transport Transition as a Socio‐Ecological Real‐World Experiment uses an integrated approach to investigate the factors that facilitate social-ecological mobility transitions in metropolitan areas.


Contributing to the Sustainable Development of Arctic Regions

Sustainable Arctic Futures: A Regional and Global Challenge Dossier

Temperatures in the Arctic are currently rising twice as fast as in most other regions on the planet, a phenomenon most strikingly evidenced by the decreasing extent and volume of Arctic sea ice over the last decades. At the end of summer 2012, the extent of Arctic sea ice was the lowest since satellite measurements began: a mere 3.41 million km2, which is 49% below the 1979 to 2000 average. Since then, summertime sea ice in the Arctic has remained at a historically very low level. The processes currently under way in the Arctic are embedded in climate, economic, legal and social systems and processes that reach far beyond the Arctic Circle.

IASS Research on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dossier

By endorsing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community signalled its continued commitment to dealing with global challenges as a collective. The Agenda provides a blueprint for reconciling economic growth with social justice and environmental sustainability.


Catalogue of measures

A Rescue Plan for the Ocean

A comprehensive High Seas Treaty and extensive marine protected areas are urgently needed in the next decade to preserve life-supporting ocean function. These are just two of eight measures recommended in a study, to which Torsten Thiele from the Ocean Governance team at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) contributed.

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New study on air pollution exposure in metropolitan areas

"Bad Atmosphere" on City Cycle Lanes

The cause of millions of premature deaths annually, air pollution is a global challenge. It affects both developing and developed countries, with cities, in particular, struggling to meet air quality standards. A new study by a team of researchers at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) investigates air pollutant concentrations in urban areas and the factors that affect air quality. The study includes a number of recommendations that will interest urban planners and citizens alike.

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Blog Posts

The ocean we need for the future we want

A healthy ocean is critical to the survival of every life on earth. However, given that the marine environment, including its currents and species that inhabit its waters, are transboundary, national action alone cannot ensure its conservation. Each one of us must resolve the pressing issues facing the ocean, from marine pollution and overfishing to securing vulnerable coastal communities.

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The geopolitics of renewables. A new but messy energy world

Exhibiting the fastest growth among all fuels in the electricity sector, renewables are about to fundamentally change the energy system. This change is hoped to bring about important social and economic co-benefits, including sustainable and affordable energy for all, green job opportunities, and increased human health and wellbeing. But there may also be some fundamentally political implications of the low carbon shift. This is what a high level group of global leaders was tasked to look into, the result of which was published in their recent report titled A New World The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, published by IRENA, the international renewable energy agency.

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