Scientific Networks

PIK is member of numerous expert bodies and scientific networks.

Understanding climate change and its impacts is a huge task that no institution or country can tackle alone. PIK is part of a global network of scientific and academic institutions working on questions of global environmental change. Members of PIK contribute to numerous expert bodies and scientific networks, including the following important partners.

Leibniz Association 

PIK is a member of the Leibniz Association, a union of German non-university research institutes that range in focus from natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economics, spatial and social sciences and the humanities. Leibniz institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance.

Leibniz Research Alliances

PIK scientists participate in several Leibniz Research Alliances and Networks.

University Cooperations

PIK maintains strong connections to the universities in Berlin and Brandenburg through several  joint professorships and the involvement of PIK scientists in university courses and the supervision of young scientists.
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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. PIK scientists are actively involved in the IPCC assessment process, contributing to its Assessment Reports and several Special Reports.
During the IPCC’s fifth assessment cycle (2008-2015), Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer was joint Co-Chair of the IPCC Working Group III “Mitigation of Climate Change“. Edenhofer and his team coordinated the WGIII contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and the IPCC’s Synthesis Report, both published in 2014, as well as the Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (2011). Other PIK experts authored AR5 chapters on issues ranging from sea-level change to assessing transformation pathways.
In IPCC's sixth assessment cycle (2016-2022) PIK researchers have contributed their expertise to the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (2017) and the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (2019). Several PIK researchers are chapter authors for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), published in 2021-2022.

The Earth League 

The Earth League is an international alliance of prominent scientists from world‐class research institutions, who work together to respond to some of the most pressing issues faced by humankind, as a consequence of climate change, depletion of natural resources, land degradation and water scarcity.
Professor Johan Rockstöm co-chairs the Earth League. Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, Director Emeritus Hans Joachim Schellnhuber and Prof. Wolfgang Lucht are Fellows. PIK is additionally involved in the EarthDoc network of next generation scholars.

The Earth Commission 

The Earth Commission is a group of leading scientists in the field of Earth systems research, whose mission is to help define science-based goals for sustainably managing systems like land, water, and biodiversity. The Earth Commission is headed by PIK Director Johan Rockström; Professor Ricarda Winkelmann is also a member.

Food System Economics Commission

Together with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) and EAT, PIK has convened an independent academic commission to deliver a state-of-the-art scientific assessment on the     economics of the transition to healthy, inclusive and sustainable food systems. The Food System Economics Commission (FSEC) will provide integrated analysis of health, food, people and planet that equips leading political and economic decision makers with the high-level insights and tools required to shift global food and land use systems in order to meet the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Commission is a joint initiative by PIK’s Directors: Johan Rockström initiated the project as principal together with Dr. Gunhild Stordalen (EAT) and Jeremy Oppenheim (FOLU/SIQ), and Ottmar Edenhofer serves as one of three FSEC Co-Chairs. They work in tandem with PIK department head Hermann Lotze-Campen, who serves as Commissioner, and working group leader Alexander Popp, who leads an analytical workstream within the FSEC Secretariat. Please find more details about FSEC here.

German Advisory Council on Global Change (WGBU) 

Since its inception in 1992, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) provides science-based policy advice to the German government. As independent scientific advisory body, it develops policy and research recommendations. PIK Director Emeritus Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber was a long-standing member of the WBGU until 2020, and was Chair or Deputy Chair for several periods. Prof. Sabine Gabrysch was a member of the Council for the period 2020-2022.

German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU)

The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) has been one of the first expert advisory bodies on German environmental policy and was established by the German government in 1972.
Its mission is to describe and assess environmental conditions, problems, and political trends and to point out solutions and preventive measures.
Professor Wolfgang Lucht was appointed to the SRU as an expert in earth system science and sustainability research in 2016.

German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina 

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina) scientifically reviews and addresses key issues of prospective significance to society. Its findings are conveyed to policy makers and the public alike and are nationally and internationally advocated.
PIK Directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström are members of the Leopoldina and contribute to the work of its committees.

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) 

PIK is actively involved as a member of SDSN Germany, represented by Prof. Hermann Lotze-Campen. Scientific contributions relate to the implementation of the UN's Agenda 2030 with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.


PIK is a member of Geo.X, the geoscientific competence network in Berlin and Potsdam. The network integrates universities and non-university research institutions. Geo.X partners are committed to a close cooperation in research, teaching, sharing joint infrastructure, internationalization and knowledge transfer

Friends of PIK

The Society of Friends and Promoters of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research e.V. (PIK) was founded in 2002. Its purpose is to support science and research at PIK and to promote the image of PIK as an international institution.
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Known by Art

Believing that creative minds are needed to bring scientific results and the debate on global environmental change into the centre of public attention, PIK has launched or co-launched a number of initiatives to collaborate with artists.
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