Headline: Completed Projects since 2017

Scoping Study: Monitoring the Global Hydrogen Economy

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In a project financed by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the IASS will develop a concept for a systematic monitoring process for the global hydrogen economy. Insights gathered through such a monitoring exercise are intended to underpin strategic innovation and market support within the framework of the international hydrogen policy of Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

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A European Roadmap for Green Hydrogen

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Hydrogen is widely viewed as the energy resource of the future - both in German and European politics. Under current proposals, hydrogen is to be generated using electricity from renewable sources and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry. The European Committee of the Regions has decided to contribute an own-initiative opinion to the political debate on the development of the European hydrogen economy. The IASS will play a supporting role in the preparation of this opinion.

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Considering Methane Emissions in the Modelling of Ozone Concentrations Using Chemical Transport Models

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Methane is a greenhouse gas as well as a precursor to tropospheric ozone, an air pollutant that is harmful to our health and ecosystems. Global methane emissions contribute significantly to background levels of ground-level ozone. This project evaluates and compares the representation of ozone production due to methane in a set of chemical transport models.

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Sustainability Platform BB - Pilot Phase

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The Platform for Sustainability in Brandenburg will serve as a forum for discussion and an effective and inclusive network for the many different sustainability initiatives in the federal state of Brandenburg. It was founded in January 2019 and is funded by Brandenburg's Ministry for Agriculture, the Environment and Climate Protection. The secretariat is based at the IASS. It coordinates the day-to-day work of the Platform, manages the Platform website, and develops innovative networking formats.

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Towards a Contemporary Vision for the Global Seafloor - Implementing the Common Heritage of Mankind

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Interest in the exploitation of deep sea mineral resources located in areas beyond national jurisdiction has grown significantly in recent years. The international debate around deep seabed mining has focused on its technical feasibility, profitability, and potential environmental impacts - rather than the question of whether deep seabed mining should take place at all and which development pathways could otherwise be explored. These questions are the subject of a new study commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation: "Towards a Contemporary Vision for the Global Seafloor - Implementing the Common Heritage of Mankind".

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Market uptake of solar thermal electricity through cooperation (MUSTEC)

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Concentrating solar power (CSP) projects in Southern Europe are capable of supplying dispatchable renewable electricity on demand both to domestic markets and to Central and Northern European countries. But various factors hinder their deployment. The MUSTEC research project proposes policy measures to overcome these obstacles.

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Exploring the nexus of decentralized renewable energy supply and digital technologies for productive use in Africa

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Access to affordable and clean electricity is a central ingredient for social and economic development in remote rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Digital technologies also play an increasingly important role in facilitating access to education, information, services and new opportunities for income generation. The project will explore the nexus of a decentralized energy supply and the use of digital technologies.

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Plastic: Social Perception and Behaviour Patterns

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Despite the adoption of advanced waste disposal and recycling systems, plastic continues to enter the environment through littering, illegal dumping, and the use of waste-based fertilisers in farming. Researchers at the IASS are studying the issue of plastic pollution and how plastics are purchased, used, and disposed. Their findings will inform the development of proposals for transdisciplinary solutions.

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Geo.X: Impacts of atmospheric blocking on extreme air pollution over Europe

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Due to climate change, the risk of extreme weather events is going to increase considerably in the future. One of the triggers of such events is atmospheric blocking - stationary areas of high pressure. Blocking can also lead to severe air pollution. This project uses statistical methods to assess the influence of blocking on air pollution under climate change.

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Democratic Anthropocene

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How can we create institutions with the capacity to attune contemporary political time, with its focus on election cycles, to the realities of planetary time and the development of life-sustaining resources over centuries? The project investigates questions such as this. It explores the emergent challenges presented by the Anthropocene and considers how they might be addressed within democratic societies.

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Deep Seabed Mining - Test Mining and Fair Benefit Sharing

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The project analyses the governance framework for potential mining activities in the Area beyond national jurisdiction. In dialogue with stakeholders from the science and policy communities and civil society, IASS researchers are generating independent reports and other input to support the international negotiation process under the umbrella of the International Seabed Authority.

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Environmental Guidelines for German Arctic Policy: ecologically sustainable activities with high environmental standards in the Arctic

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As a result of the depletion of Arctic sea ice, the geopolitical and geo-economic significance of the Arctic is growing. Building on the German Arctic Policy Guidelines adopted in 2013, this project develops concepts and implementation strategies for an ecologically sustainable German Arctic policy with high environmental standards.

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Development of standardised guidelines for the techno-economic assessment of carbon dioxide conversion processes

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Research on Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) is increasingly becoming important in industry, research, and politics. The result is a greater number of new technologies, for instance to produce chemicals, fuels, and minerals. However, to date there has been no comprehensive and standardised way of assessing these technologies from a technical or economic point of view. This project aims to close that gap by developing guidelines for determining the economic feasibility of emerging CCU technologies.

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Norderstedt City of the Future - Project phase II

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How can motorised traffic be reduced in a prosperous city of 80,000 inhabitants located in a busy metropolitan area? How can public spaces be revitalised? These are the kinds of questions raised by the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals and the pursuit of local sustainability objectives in Norderstedt. IASS researchers are helping the city find effective and practical answers to them.

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Arctic Impact on Weather and Climate (Blue-Action)

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Climate change is leading to rapid and far-reaching transformations in the Arctic, which is warming at a rate twice the global average. This project analyses how changes to the Arctic climate and a resulting increase in human activities in the region affect the climate and the weather of the entire Northern Hemisphere.

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CO2Min - Mineral Sequestration of CO2

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The natural minerals olivine and basalt are able to bind CO2 over their entire life cycle. However, under natural conditions it can take decades for the minerals to become saturated with the greenhouse gas. How could we harness technology to accelerate the absorption process, thereby contributing to climate protection? What are the potentials and risks of this method for society?

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Kopernikus Project Energy Transition Navigation System (Enavi)

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This project approaches the energy transition as a process of broad societal transformation. It investigates the respective roles of technological, economic, political, and social systems within the energy transition and develops options for their effective integration into the process.

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CO2 Plus - Broadening the Raw Material Base through the Utilisation of CO2

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Options for putting CO2 to good use - for example in the chemical industry and in fuel production or energy storage systems - are currently being investigated across the globe. This project examines the factors that influence the diffusion and acceptance of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies and develops information and dialogue formats that support a sustainable and socially responsible implementation process.

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Three-Dimensional Observation of Atmospheric Processes in Cities

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This project monitors air pollution and climate-relevant parameters in Berlin, Hamburg, and Stuttgart. How do the cities compare in terms of concentrations of pollutants? How representative are individual measurements? What are the implications of this for atmospheric modelling? The research team aims to answer these questions and contribute to the development of innovative urban climate models in the process.

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Promoting Acceptance of Renewable Energies

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For a successful energy transition, it is vital that the general population supports the expansion of renewable energies. This project asks whether a more environmentally friendly expansion could lead to greater acceptance of renewable energies.

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An Assessment of the Impact of Black Carbon on Air Quality and Climate in the Kathmandu Valley and Surrounding Area - A Model Study (BERLiKUM)

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Parts of Nepal are among the most heavily polluted areas in the world. In a model study, this project assesses the impact of black carbon on air quality and the regional climate. Researchers are also engaging with local scientists and experts to identify which measures to reduce emissions lead to improvements in air quality.

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Governance and Participation

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This project investigates diverse forms of political and economic participation within the context of socio-ecological transformations like the energy transition, the German environmental movement, and the transformation of agriculture. The project aims to generate a nuanced understanding of the interdependencies of actors and structures experiencing change.

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Implementing the Paris Agreement - Overcoming Barriers and Identifying Drivers for Effective Climate Governance

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The Paris Climate Agreement has been in force since November 2016. The countries that have adopted the agreement must now develop a regulatory regime for its implementation, deliver on their proposed commitments, and develop these further as the process progresses. This project analyses the main barriers to and drivers of implementation and examines the courses of action open to different actors.

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Ecological Safeguards for Deep Seabed Mining

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The deep seabed is the least understood ecosystem on Earth and is known to contain mineral resources in some areas. Their extraction presents significant technical challenges and is not as yet financially viable. Environmental reviews have shown that deep seabed mining could result in irreversible harms on a large scale. Efforts continue to promote the development of deep seabed mining despite low commodity prices and the resulting uncertainty around its economic benefits. At present, the extraction of mineral resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction is not the subject of a comprehensive legal framework. The project Ecological Guardrails for Deep Seabed Mining evaluates potential environmental impacts and advises the German Federal Environment Agency on the development of environmental standards to safeguard the sustainability of deep seabed mining under the supervision of the International Seabed Authority.

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Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security

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Limited access to financing, insecure land tenure, and insufficient agricultural services – the factors that constrain the uptake of sustainable land management techniques by farmers in developing countries are well known. But how can smallholder farmers in developing countries be best supported in their efforts to manage their lands sustainably? The project Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security aims to address this question. Working alongside diverse stakeholders and local populations, researchers are developing new approaches to facilitate the uptake of sustainable land management techniques. This project partners with organisations on the ground in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya and India.

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Global Soil Week

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This annual event draws attention to the poor state of soils around the world. A vital resource, soils underpin human and ecosystem health and are not renewable within human time frames. Soils form the basis for more than 95 per cent of all food produced worldwide and are an enormous source of biodiversity. Despite this, billions of tonnes of soil are lost to erosion or are sealed over every year. Famine and growing conflicts over land use are just some of the consequences. The Global Soil Week brings together policymakers and stakeholders from the private sector, science, and civil society to develop strategies and measures that support sustainable soil management. A particular emphasis is placed on the roles of states, government agencies, and local authorities in responsible land governance.

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Arctic Ocean Ecosystems - Applied Technology, Biological Interactions and Consequences in an Era of Abrupt Climate Change (ArcticABC)

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How will the decline in Arctic sea ice affect fish stocks in this region? What are the likely consequences of this development for the regulation of Arctic fisheries? Contributing to the IASS project Global Change and Arctic Sustainable Transformations, this project will examine the stakes of Arctic and non-Arctic actors in Arctic fisheries and assess the existing Arctic fisheries governance framework as to its appropriateness for peaceful and environmentally sustainable management. The project aims to create a better understanding of global-local interconnections between stakeholders within and beyond the Arctic region in the area of fisheries and to identify deficits in the governance of Arctic fisheries.

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Norderstedt City of the Future - Project phase I

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How can motorised traffic be reduced in a prosperous city of 80,000 inhabitants located in a busy metropolitan area? How can public spaces be revitalised? These are the kinds of questions raised by the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals and the pursuit of local sustainability objectives in Norderstedt. IASS researchers are helping the city find effective and practical answers to them.

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AGORA – Acting Together Now for Pro-poor Strategies against Soil and Land Degradation

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Swathes of valuable farming land are lost each year to the effects of land degradation, erosion, and soil salinity. Sixty-seven per cent of all arable land in Africa is currently endangered. What could be done to halt or even reverse this trend? What steps could be taken to improve the livelihoods of impoverished rural populations? These questions are the focus of the research project AGORA – Acting Together Now for Pro-Poor Strategies Against Soil and Land Degradation. This joint research effort brings stakeholders from the fields of science, policymaking, and civil society together with local populations to develop strategies for sustainable land use and management.

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