News

RD3 - Transformation Pathways
News

From Planetary Boundaries to Global Commons: “PIK Research Days” with latest science update

02/15/2024 – From planetary boundaries and tipping points to global commons and the economic implications of climate change, from methods like integrated assessment modeling or machine learning to the science-policy interface: The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research gathered for its traditional in-house conference, the “PIK Research Days”. The two-day event was packed with talks, panel discussions and elevator pitches about current and planned research.
Read More
News

Increasing nitrogen fertilization could pollute rivers and worsen water scarcity

02/06/2024 – In the 2050s, one-third of the world's rivers could be affected by water scarcity or be polluted by nitrogen. This is the result of a study by an international team of scientists, including researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and led by scientists of Wageningen University. They assessed the scarcity of clean water under ongoing climate change and show how water pollution from intensified agriculture and untreated sewage could limit clean water supply.
Read More
Press Release

A fifth higher: Tropical cyclones substantially raise the Social Cost of Carbon

11/23/2023 - Extreme events like tropical cyclones have immediate impacts, but also long-term implications for societies. A new study published in the journal Nature Communications now finds: Accounting for the long-term impacts of these storms raises the global Social Cost of Carbon by more than 20 percent, compared to the estimates currently used for policy evaluations. This increase is mainly driven by the projected rise of tropical-cyclone damages to the major economies of India, USA, China, Taiwan, and Japan under global warming.
Read More
Press Release

More new fossil gas heating systems, only tentative progress: energy transition update

11/22/2023 - Reduced fossil fuel consumption due to the energy crisis, tentative positive signs in the expansion of renewable energy capacities, electric cars and heat pumps – but all this is not happening fast enough, according to new figures from the Ariadne Transformation Tracker. Moreover, the German energy transition is not yet on track when it comes to phasing out fossil fuels in the heating and transport sectors. Instead of the necessary decline, there has been a clear increase in the sale of new cars with combustion engines and new gas heating systems compared to the previous year.
Read More
News

Highly Cited: PIK scientists among top 1% of the world's most cited researchers

11/15/2023 – For the sixth year in a row, numerous researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are among the top 1 percent of the renowned “Highly Cited Researchers” worldwide. The influential ranking, published by Clarivate Analytics' science platform Web of Science, is based on the number of times scientists' papers are cited by other researchers – a very important indicator of scientific relevance. The 2023 edition includes eight PIK researchers from different research departments, also PIK Director Johan Rockström.
Read More
Press Release

Land taxation can reduce wealth inequality

11/14/2023 - Taxing land instead of capital could reduce the widening gap between rich and poor in societies, finds a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). A team of scientists shows that, in a world of rising inequality, shifting the tax burden away from capital to land taxation could restore balance and promote economic growth. Especially people with little or no wealth could benefit from land taxes, for example in the form of less rapidly rising housing costs. The few municipalities, that have implemented land rent taxation so far, have used it to finance public transport, among other infrastructure investments.
Read More
News

Novel perspectives on cross-border cascading climate change impacts and systemic risks

10/27/2023 – Transitioning towards climate-adaptive and resilient societies – that was the overarching aim of the conference “Cross-border climate change impacts and systemic risks in Europe and beyond” at Potsdam-Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK). For three days in mid-October, 150 scientists from all over the world came together across disciplines to better understand and respond to the emerging topic of cross-border climate impacts and risks.
Read More
News

Getting expectations right more relevant than getting prices right: Credibility is key for policies to achieve net zero targets

09/18/2023 - For net-zero policies to be successful, it is key that they succeed in shaping the expectations of private investors that long-term targets are firm. This is the result of new research by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Resources for the Future and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published today in Nature Climate Change.
Read More
Press Release

Worse than diesel and gasoline? Bioenergy as bad as fossils if there is no pricing of CO2 emissions from land-use change

06/26/2023 - Demand for modern biofuels is expected to grow substantially in order to mitigate climate emissions. However, they are far from being a climate neutral alternative to gasoline and diesel. A new study in Nature Climate Change shows that under current land-use regulations, CO2 emission factors for biofuels might even exceed those for fossil diesel combustion due to large-scale land clearing related to growing biomass. Before bioenergy can effectively contribute to achieving carbon neutrality, international agreements need to ensure the effective protection of forests and other natural lands by introducing carbon pricing, the expert team from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) argues.
Read More

Cross-sectoral PROCLIAS-ISIMIP workshop 2023 in Prague

14/06/2023 - Another successful cross-sectoral PROCLIAS/ ISIMIP workshop filled with plenary and parallel sessions on ISIMIP simulation results, data and protocols for climate impact simulations, IPCC representative key risks and cross-sectoral climate impacts took place, this time in Prague.
Read More
News

PIK expertise at "Leibniz in the Bundestag"

05/26/2023 - From hydrogen to the EU climate goals, from moorland protection to the animal welfare tax: researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) were represented across all research areas with numerous topics at "Leibniz in the Bundestag". With this political format, the Leibniz Association annually offers members of the German Bundestag one-on-one discussions with scientists.
Read More
News

New framework from “Efficiency first” to “Decarbonization first” in European building sector needed

05/25/2023 - In addition to costly renovations, many inexpensive measures exist to facilitate the diffusion of renewables in the building sector. As of 2019, buildings were responsible for about a third of European GHG emissions. A key objective of EU energy use policies to reduce these emissions should therefore be focused on the decarbonization of buildings, beyond merely decreasing energy demand. This is stated in a new Commentary published in the journal Joule by a team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).
Read More
Press Release

Effective capital markets are needed to protect the climate

05/22/2023 - A new study investigates the role of effective capital markets for climate protection and the energy transition. Banks collect savings and make them available as loans and the greater the difference between savings and loan interest rates, the more it costs to invest. This affects, for example, investments in fossil-free steel plants, power generation, or heating systems. The analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) has now been published in the renowned Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE).
Read More
Press Release

Large-scale nature conservation efforts alone will not preserve benefits for our societies

05/16/2023 - The enlargement of protected areas and carbon price incentives for reforestation alone will not stop biodiversity decline and the ongoing loss of critical ecosystem functions, if they are not accompanied by measures that also target managed landscapes. A new study published in Nature Communications, led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), shows that even in scenarios with a high demand for land it is possible to maintain biodiversity-friendly landscapes, which also provide critical services such as pollination and healthy soils. The research demonstrates that land use is not a zero-sum game but that it matters where farmland is located in order to promote landscape diversity. With the right incentives, farmed landscapes could be managed in a way that enhances the numerous benefits nature offers to society and that support the biodiversity conservation targets of protected areas.
Read More
News

Unique Institute for Sustainability: Alexander Popp is Professor at the University of Kassel

05/02/2023 - Since 1st of May 2023, Alexander Popp is Professor for Sustainable Land Use and Climate Protection at the Department of Ecological Agricultural Sciences at Kassel University. A unique scientific centre, the Institute for Sustainability, is currently being established there. It deals with the challenges of sustainable development in the sense of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Read More
News

E-fuels likely to remain scarce for a long time: PIK analysis paper

03/21/2023 - To advance the current debate on e-fuels, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have analyzed data on the global status of e-fuel projects and compiled it in an analysis paper.
Read More

PIK statement on today's IPCC synthesis report

03/20/2023 - Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its synthesis report on the Sixth Assessment Report.
Read More
News

From forest resilience to power grids to loss and damage: PIK Research Days

02/22/2023 - Hot topics were presented in talks and discussed among scientists at the annual ‘Research Days’ of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Virtually all members of the institute gathered for the 2-day exchange, the first one which happened face-to-face after the online-only times of COVID pandemic. Once a year, the entire institute comes together to update one another on its findings, new methods and challenges – and to discuss new frontiers to be investigated.
Read More
Press Release

Coal exit can happen only with stronger policies – and with China

02/06/2023 - Current climate policies including efforts like the Powering Past Coal Alliance will not add up to a global coal exit, a new study shows. Countries phasing coal out of the electricity sector need to broaden their policy strategy, or else they risk pushing the excess coal supply into other industries at home, like steel production. The scientists find that China has an opportunity to dominate the renewable energy technology market if it begins phasing down coal immediately. Otherwise, it could dangerously delay the renewable energy breakthrough worldwide.
Read More
News

Federal Research Minister visits PIK

01/09/2023 - The Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger has visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). She spoke for almost two hours with climate economist and PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer, as well as with Administrative Director Bettina Hörstrup and Gunnar Luderer from the Copernicus research project ARIADNE on energy transition policy. Topics included the federal government's hydrogen strategy and research into economic models for extracting CO2 from the air and storing it underground, as well as research into energy systems.
Read More
Press Release

Climate risk insurance can effectively mitigate economic losses

01/04/2023 - Global warming is expected to lead to an accumulation of particularly intense hurricanes in the United States. This may substantially increase the economic losses caused by these storms. Better insurance could effectively mitigate the climate change-induced increase in economic losses. This is shown in a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research examining the effectiveness of climate risk insurance in the US.
Read More
Press Release

Carbon dioxide removal should receive additional financial support

12/20/2022 - Cleaning up greenhouse gases after they have been emitted should be incentivized by subsidies. New evidence from an economic analysis considering international markets suggests an important reason why subsidies should be higher than the price put on carbon emissions to incentivize their reduction. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers analyze policies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground or in products. The suggested different pricing is not due to technological challenges, but linked to an economic effect called leakage.
Read More
News

Finding equity in climate mitigation finance: new study in 'Science'

11/18/2022- Considerations of equity in directing global financial flows for regional climate mitigation investments are critically important. It is in the leading journal 'Science' that team of researchers led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) published a new study to help inform climate policy. The researchers explored how global investments could be divided among the countries in the world. The team applied a systematic approach with different equity and fairness considerations and estimated the “fair” financial flows between regions.
Read More
News

Potsdam researchers amongst top 1% most cited worldwide

11/14/2022 - For the fifth year in a row, researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are among the top 1 percent of the globally most scientifically influential authors. The renowned "Highly Cited" ranking is published once a year by Clarivate Analytics' science platform Web of Science. The ranking is based on the number of times researchers are cited in other academics' works - one of the most important indicators of scientific relevance. Twelve PIK researchers are listed, just like last year, including the institute's directors, and from all research departments.
Read More
Press Release

Green hydrogen: Short-term scarcity, long-term uncertainty

08/09/2022 - Green hydrogen from renewable electricity and derived e-fuels are uniquely valuable for achieving climate neutrality. They can replace fossil fuels in industry or long-distance transport where direct electrification is infeasible. However, even if production capacities grow as fast as wind and solar power, the growth-rate champions, green hydrogen supply remains scarce in the short-term and uncertain in the long term, a new analysis published in the journal Nature Energy shows.
Read More
Press Release

Living in timber cities could avoid emissions – without using farmland for wood production

08/30/2022 - Housing a growing population in homes made out of wood instead of conventional steel and concrete could avoid more than 100 billion tons of emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 until 2100, a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research shows. These are about 10 percent of the remaining carbon budget for the 2°C climate target. Besides the harvest from natural forests, newly established timber plantations are required for supplying construction wood. While this does not interfere with food production, a loss of biodiversity may occur if not carefully managed, according to the scientists. The study is the first to analyze the impacts of a large-scale transition to timber cities on land use, land-use change emissions, and long-term carbon storage in harvested wood products.
Read More
Press Release

"For a secure climate future": High-ranking guests at 30 years celebration of Potsdam Institute

06/30/2022 - High-ranking guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - from federal and Brandenburg politicians to a Nobel laureate. The institute, founded in 1992 and now employing a good 400 people, is needed more today than ever before in the worsening climate crisis, speeches said. The PIK Board of Directors thanked politicians as well as the scientists and all employees of PIK for their part in the success story.
Read More
News

Emissions Trading for building and transport - new Ariadne analyses

06/22/2022 - The extension of the European Emissions Trading to the buildings and transport sector (ETS2) as a core element of the European Fit for 55 package has been the subject of heated political debate in the EU Parliament. Only recently, a compromise on ETS reform was reached. Two new studies by the Ariadne Project with the participation of PIK examine how fairness and solidarity can be preserved in the ETS 2 design.
Read More
News

New PIK Podcast: Energy security crisis. Cost of living crisis. Climate Crisis. What's the way out?

06/17/2022 - We are in the middle of a global energy crisis. In the latest edition of the "Sustain Ability - The Potsdam Dialogues" podcast, Gunnar Luderer, Lead of the Energy Systems Research Group and Deputy Chair of the Department Transformation Pathways at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and Laura Cozzi, Chief Energy Modeler at the International Energy Agency (IEA), discuss what is needed to accelerate the clean energy transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables, especially with regard to the war in Ukraine and the resulting tensions between Russia and the West.
Read More
Press Release

Fighting poverty and protecting the environment can only work together: Policy paper by the Potsdam Institute for the German Environment Ministry

06/02/2022 - A decent living for all people and better protection of nature and climate aren’t conflicting targets, a new scientific analysis highlights. Development goals such as reduced poverty and inequality, better health and education, and a secure supply of food and energy on the one hand interact closely with stabilizing the climate and preserving biodiversity on the other. Only together can these goals be achieved, shows a report by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for the German Environment Ministry on the occasion of the Stockholm+50 summit which is starting today.
Read More