The level of public concern about climate change has risen significantly in recent years. The Fridays for Future movement enjoys broad political and public support, but this has so far not translated into tangible changes. IASS Fellow Elizabeth Dirth has now developed a resource – the Futuring Tool – and a more comprehensive Policy Brief aimed at decision-makers who want to make climate protection a guiding principle of their work.
In the face of a changing climate and widespread environmental destruction it is difficult to envision a future in which healthy people inhabit a healthy planet. Strategies to safeguard planetary health were the subject of an IASS symposium on the occasion of the inaugural "Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Fellowship" on 6 November in Berlin.
The “Future Box: Carbon” developed by the IASS in cooperation with Berlin’s Futurium Museum offers school pupils an exciting and hands-on introduction to climate change and raw materials. This learning resource is suitable for use in classes from 8th Grade up and for all school types. The Future Box can be used in different subjects and will help to build awareness of sustainable development issues.
From 23 – 25 September 2019, heads of government from around the world will convene at the United Nations’ General Assembly to discuss efforts to advance climate action and global sustainable development. The summit aims to boost national ambitions to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and will review the implementation of measures relating to the Sustainable Development Goals. The relationship between air pollution and climate change plays an important role in this context, and is the subject of a new IASS Policy Brief titled “A Practical Approach to Integrating Climate and Air Quality Policy”.
As well as helping to make sustainable mobility more visible, the STADTRADELN campaign exposes the weak links in Potsdam’s cycling infrastructure. As an online IASS survey reveals, the campaign only managed to convert a few people to cycling: nearly all of the participants were already regular bike-users.
To avert devastating climate change impacts, we need to make dramatic lifestyle changes. Lance Bennett, Professor of Political Science and Communication at the University of Washington and currently IASS Senior Fellow, explains how better communication can help us succeed in changing course.
David Dunetz has worked for 20 years at the Heschel Center for Sustainability in Tel Aviv, which leads the Israel Climate Forum, a consortium of civil society organizations. As a Visiting Research Fellow at the IASS Potsdam on a joint program with the Israel Public Policy Institute, he is currently researching how civic engagement and participation processes can advance climate policy and democratic innovation.
Germany’s Ministry of the Environment (BMU) and Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have appointed IASS Director Ortwin Renn to the steering committee of the scientific platform for the German Climate Action Plan 2050. The committee, which is composed of up to ten renowned scientists and academics, is tasked with helping the German federal government advance and implement its long-term climate strategy.
Many different technologies already exist for converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into products like construction materials and chemicals. But which of them can make a real contribution to climate protection? A new study commissioned by the European Commission provides answers.
In our daily lives we tend to hurry past construction sites. But the fence surrounding a major building site on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße in Potsdam has been attracting attention following the launch of a hugely interesting open-air exhibition on Saturday, 19 January. The exhibition showcases the range of research projects based in the city and explores its diverse research landscape.
The 24th UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) is due to take place in the Polish city of Katowice from 2 to 14 December. At this year’s COP, minds will focus on concrete steps towards implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. A whole host of experts from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) will be there. At the international symposium on “Safeguarding Our Climate, Advancing Our Society”, IASS Scientific Director Patrizia Nanz will speak about the role democratic structures can play in the shift to sustainability. And IASS Scientific Director Mark Lawrence will represent the institute at the High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition on the margins of the conference.
The cost advantage of diesel has caused the number of newly registered diesel cars to sky-rocket over the last twenty years. Scientists have now calculated the exact effects of this “diesel boom”: In a new study published in the journal “Atmospheric Environment” they show that the diesel boom in Europe has failed to benefit the climate.
The City of Potsdam has set itself an ambitious climate protection goal: It wants to reduce its CO2 emissions to practically zero by the year 2050. A new long-term partnership between the city and Potsdam-based research institutes is intended to pave the way for this.
The Governor of Brandenburg and members of the state government came to the IASS on 12 December to discuss energy policy and climate protection. Together with the directors of the IASS and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), they explored the idea of a Future Commission to ensure that Brandenburg’s energy transition is socially responsible and economically sustainable.
The Europe-wide shutdown is reducing both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. At first glance, this might seem like good news. But it has also caused CO2 certificates traded under the European Union Emissions Trading System to lose a third of their value since March. Economic activity is expected to be significantly depressed over the coming weeks and months and production capacities underused.
“We need to start by telling people they are awesome.” This was one of the central messages from climate communications expert George Marshall in his opening keynote at K3: Kongress zu Klimawandel Kommunikation und Gesellschaft, the German-language congress on climate communication that took place this September in Karlsruhe. As in: we have to accept people for who they are, listen to them, and frame climate action in terms that align with their values.
"Future generations" have become an integral part of discussions about sustainability. This stems all the way back to the very definition of sustainable development in the Brundtland Report, but has gained new significance with the explosion of youth environmental movements we’ve seen in recent years. The general public seems to agree that future generations should be taken into account in political decision-making processes: More and more people are understanding that their children’s or their grandchildren’s lives are under threat because of our decisions and lack of action on environmental degradation, climate change, and other sustainability challenges.
From 23 to 25 September 2019, heads of government met at the United Nations in New York to discuss the fight against climate change and, later, the progress made towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).