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RD3 - Transformation Pathways
 
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Why a new Emissions Trading System is needed in Europe to make road transport “Fit for 55”

04/28/2022 - The new Emissions Trading System proposed by the European Commission, the ETS2 – covering road transport and heating for buildings – is currently one of the most controversial topics in the European Parliament. To discuss it, stakeholders from science, business, civil society and policy gathered at a webinar organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), and the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) this week. Around 150 participants joined the event.
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"The benefits of climate protection clearly exceed its costs": breaking IPCC WG3 AR6 report

04/04/2022 - Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 3 published its 6th Assessment Report on climate mitigation.
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PIK-Podcast: No going back? How climate change drives migration

03/01/2022 - Climate change makes people lose their homes. Barbora Sedova, PIK Co-Lead of the FutureLab Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration, in dialogue with Chris Hodder, the first UN Climate Security and Environmental Advisor to Somalia, on climate change and its impacts on migration, displacement and even conflict.
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New IPCC report on climate impacts

02/28/2022 - Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 2 published its 6th Assessment Report highlighting climate change impacts. The working group consisted of 270 scientists from across the globe who scanned more than 34,000 pages of scientific literature on the current state of science on what the warming climate means for our life on Earth. They’ve agreed on a more than 3,000 pages report synthesising those insights, and on a 36 pages Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). Several PIK scientists were involved, such as Katja Frieler, co-chair of Tranformation Pathways research at the Potsdam Institute. She was a lead author of the report's chapter on observed cross-sectoral impacts and also contributed to the Summary for Policy Makers.
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Risk Profile for Somalia reveals high exposure to future climate change impacts

02/24/2022 - Due to climate change, Somalia and its people will increasingly suffer from heatwaves, scarce water availability, and sea-level rise, with the average air temperature rising between 1.5 - 2.3 °C by 2050. This is the result of the ‘Climate Risk Profile Somalia’, published today by the multi-disciplinary climate security initiative Weathering Risk that is jointly led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the think tank adelphi.
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Potsdam Summer School 2022: Towards a Sustainable Transformation

22/02/2022 - Climate, Energy and Nature in a Changing World – with this overarching theme the Potsdam Summer School will continue the transdisciplinary and interactive series of events that has been held annually in Potsdam, Germany since 2014. It brings together talented early-career scientists and young professionals operating in the private sector, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organisations from many different parts of the world to discuss frontier research questions on future sustainable development and contribute their insights at this exceptional opportunity to foster cooperation and an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas. The call for applications is now open!
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A Fair Share: Location of renewables key starting point for just decarbonisation in India

02/23/2022 - A fair distribution of renewable energy assets in India is crucial for a just energy transition in the country. This is the result of a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Especially a targeted support of solar energy in the country‘s east is a key starting point in assisting India to quit coal power and strengthen its climate targets.
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Press Release

Climate policy: How to protect emissions trading from excessive financial speculation

12/15/2021 - CO2 emissions trading – a key element of EU climate policy – can be protected from distortions driven by financial speculators, a new report shows. The price for CO2 emissions allowances in the EU cap-and-trade scheme has almost tripled in the course of this year, and is now subject to unprecedented volatility levels. Financial speculation is increasingly blamed for this price rally, but evidence is lacking whether this can actually endanger the functioning of the trading system for the most relevant greenhouse gas. The researchers propose tools to detect speculation, evidence a substantial risk from a new breed of investors, and suggest improvements for market oversight.
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Postdoc Award of the State of Brandenburg for Björn Sörgel

02/12/2021 - PIK scientist Björn Sörgel has received the 2021 Postdoc Award of the State of Brandenburg in the category Humanities and Social Sciences. The award recognizes his work on jointly addressing two of the most pressing global issues of our time - the mitigation of climate change and the eradication of extreme poverty. It is awarded by the state of Brandenburg in recognition of excellent research achievements by outstanding young scientists from universities and non-university research institutions.
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Accelerated renewables-based electrification paves the way for a post-fossil future: study

11/25/2021 - Cost-slashing innovations are underway in the electric power sector and could give electricity the lead over fossil-based combustion fuels in the world’s energy supply by mid-century. When combined with a global carbon price, these developments can catalyse emission reductions to reach the Paris climate targets, while reducing the need for controversial negative emissions, a new study finds.
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Improving the evidence: PIK scientists review quantitative climate migration literature

09/28/2021 - Quantitative empirical studies exploring how climatic and other environmental drivers influence migration are increasing year by year. PIK scientists have now reviewed methodological approaches used in the quantitative climate migration literature. Their review plays an important role when it comes to assessing how climatic factors influence human migration and provides guidance to researchers studying climate-migration.
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Reducing tropical cyclone impacts: The double benefit of climate protection through both limiting and delaying global warming

09/27/2021 - Increasing global warming from currently one to two degrees Celsius by mid-century might lead to about 25 percent more people put at risk by tropical cyclones, a new study finds. Already today, hurricanes and typhoons are among the most destructive natural disasters worldwide and potentially threaten about 150 million people each year. Adding to climate change, population growth further drives tropical cyclone exposure, especially in coastal areas of East African countries and the United States. Considering the joint impact of climate change and population growth provides an untapped potential to protect a changing world population.
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Today’s children to experience two to seven times more extremes than their grandparents

09/27/2021 - Today’s children will be hit much harder by climate extremes than today’s adults, researchers show in the leading journal Science. During their lifetime, a child born in 2021 will experience on average twice as many wildfires, between two and three times more droughts, almost three times more river floods and crop failures, and seven times more heatwaves compared to a person who’s for instance 60 years old today, the researchers find based on data from the Inter-sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP). This is under a scenario of current greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges by governments which will be a topic at the upcoming world climate summit COP26 in Glasgow.
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Less trade-offs, more synergies: New pathway to mitigate climate change and boost progress on UN Sustainable Development Goals

08/02/2021 - A world that combats climate change while simultaneously improving on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is possible, a new study finds. Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Development Institute have developed a new integrated strategy that combines ambitious climate action with dedicated policies for development, food and energy access, global and national equity, and environmental sustainability. It sheds new light on bottlenecks, but also synergies for boosting progress towards climate and sustainable development targets.
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Science commentary: Addressing the human cost of displacement in a changing climate

23/06/2021 - In a policy forum contribution just published in a special edition of the renowned journal Science, Jacob Schewe, co-lead of PIK´s FutureLab “Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration” and colleagues from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), ETH Zürich and IIASA Vienna discuss the hidden economic impacts of disaster- and climate-related displacement. They argue for locally led displacement risk assessments that account for the potential economic cost of displacement to guide decision making.
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Press Release

Making climate impact science more accessible to the public: ISIpedia launch

06/15/2021 - Decision-makers on all levels are provided with a new tool to tackle the climate challenge. Data and explanations on global warming impacts – from floods to droughts - are made more accessible to the public by a team of 12 international research institutes. Today, they launch the online portal ISIpedia which features science explained by the scientists, breaking down global studies to the country-level, for both adaptation and mitigation planning.
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Tackling biodiversity and climate crises together: First joint IPCC & IPBES report with PIK contribution

06/15/2021 Two Leading UN science organizations, one report: For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have joined forces and published an analysis that looks at the interaction of climate change and biodiversity loss. Their key result: Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. This is the message of a workshop report, published by 50 of the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts, amongst them Alexander Popp from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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Limiting climate risks for finance: Central banks and science publish scenarios

06/07/2021 - To improve climate related risk management in the financial sector and facilitate a smooth transition toward a sustainable economy, over 90 central banks and financial market supervisors organized in the Network for Greening the Financial System joined forces with science. Together, researchers and financial experts now published an updated set of scenarios of an orderly transition, delayed transition, and climate policy failure. They show how early greenhouse gas emissions reductions can minimize both physical and financial risk. In contrast, delayed action or no action would inevitably drive up costs in the medium to long term. The analysis provides sectoral and regional detail to help financial institutions adapt their investment strategies.
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ECCA21 Session on climate impact and adaptation co-organised by Christopher Reyer

31/05/2021 - Christopher Reyer (RD2), together with colleagues from ECDPM, IIASA and CRS organised a Webinar on '360° view of climate impacts: experiencing the future to plan adaptation', within the framework of the European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conference 2021. ECCA is co-organised by the three H2020 projects CASCADES, RECEIPT and SINCERE as well as JPI Climate and the EU Commission. The session presented an integrated view of climate impacts which allowed participants to experience the complexity of cross-border and cross-sectoral climate impacts in an innovative 'policy simulation exercise'.
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Few realistic scenarios left to limit global warming to 1.5°C

05/14/2021 - Of the over 400 climate scenarios assessed in the 1.5°C report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), only around 50 scenarios avoid significantly overshooting 1.5°C. Of those only around 20 make realistic assumptions on mitigation options, for instance the rate and scale of carbon removal from the atmosphere or extent of tree planting, a new study shows. All 20 scenarios need to pull at least one mitigation lever at "challenging" rather than "reasonable" levels, according to the analysis. Hence the world faces a high degree of risk of overstepping the 1.5°C limit. The realistic window for meeting the 1.5°C target is very rapidly closing.
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Hydrogen instead of electrification? Potentials and risks for climate targets

05/06/2021 - Hydrogen-based fuels should primarily be used in sectors such as aviation or industrial processes that cannot be electrified, finds a team of researchers. Producing these fuels is too inefficient, costly and their availability too uncertain, to broadly replace fossil fuels for instance in cars or heating houses. For most sectors, directly using electricity for instance in battery electric cars or heat pumps makes more economic sense. Universally relying on hydrogen-based fuels instead and keeping combustion technologies threatens to lock in a further fossil fuel dependency and greenhouse gas emissions.
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The new EU climate target will increase carbon prices and could phase out coal power in Europe as early as 2030

04/27/2021 - Tightening the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) in line with the EU Green Deal would dramatically speed up the decarbonization of Europe's power sector – and likely cause a demise of the coal industry. In a new study a team of researchers from Potsdam, Germany has quantified the substantial shifts Europe's electricity system is about to undergo when the newly decided EU climate target gets implemented. Higher carbon prices, the authors show, are not only an inevitable step to cut emissions – they will also lead much faster to an inexpensive electricity system powered by renewable energies.
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“World’s top climate scientists”: many PIK researchers feature prominently in Reuters ranking

04/27/2021 - According to a new list published by Reuters, 8 of the top 10 German climate researchers are based at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The “hot list”, compiled in cooperation with the British-based technology company Digital Sciences, is a combination of three rankings detailing the number of research papers scientists have published on topics related to climate change, the field citation ratio to measure the influence of scientists’ work among their peers, and the attention the scholars and their research have garnered in the media. While the methodology is not perfect, depending on specific key words, it certainly is interesting.
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Girls' Day gives schoolgirls from all over Germany an insight into climate impact research

04/22/2021 – On Girls' Day - 'Future Prospects for Girls' this year, schoolgirls were once again given an insight into the work at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to discover career prospects in science. Due to the pandemic, this year's Girls' Day took place digitally, allowing for the first time girls from all over Germany to get to know PIK instead of usually just girls from Potsdam and Berlin. Climate researchers Ronja Reese and Constanze Werner talked about their work and answered everything the girls wanted to know in an open question session.
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Online European Geosciences Union 2021 with strong PIK participation

04/21/2021 - One of the largest scientific meetings worldwide, the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly, virtually brings together geoscientists from all over the planet – amongst them many scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). From 19 to 30 April 2021, the EGU covers all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences and provides a forum where scientists, especially early-career researchers, can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience.
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Security & Migration

Security, Ethnic Conflicts and Migration
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Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation

02/08/2021 - COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal – a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. Their findings show that the pandemic, while putting a terrible toll on people’s lives and the economy, has also opened a window of opportunity to make this current trend of decreasing coal use irreversible: Supported by the right climate policy measures, power sector emissions could decline more rapidly than previously thought.
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Climate change projected to double the number of people facing extreme drought

01/11/2021 - If current rates of global warming continue, up to 8 percent of the world's population – twice as many people as today – could be threatened by extreme droughts by the end of the 21st century. This is the key finding of a comprehensive study by an international team of scientists, including Jacob Schewe, Anne Gädecke, and Dieter Gerten from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Without effective climate change mitigation and resource maintenance, the authors argue, global water shortages could have disastrous ramifications.
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CO2 pricing and financial transfers: small changes can have a huge effect on climate equity

12/09/2020 - Global greenhouse-gas emission reductions could be achieved in a fair and thrifty way by surprisingly small variations of well-known policies. This is shown by a team of economists in a quantitative study now published in Nature. Differentiated CO2 prices in different countries combined with moderate financial transfers from advanced to developing countries would do the job. These changes would be most efficient in achieving fair burden sharing and at the same time keep overall costs in check, the researchers find. This could solve the epic trilemma to unite cost-efficiency, national sovereignty and fair effort-sharing.
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