New numbers, new movement: from the UN Climate Summit to the Global Carbon Project

09/25/2014 - The UN climate summit this week in New York brought progress in an unexpected way. "Most of the politicians in the hall gave speeches of the same old conventional type – effusive formulation, minimalistic commitment," said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who himself took part in the meeting of 120 heads of state. "But it took place against a novel background, generated on the streets of New York by more than 300,000 people. If the politicians don't pull from the front, civil society will just have to push. Last week we saw how climate protection is developing into a world citizens' movement."
New numbers, new movement: from the UN Climate Summit to the Global Carbon Project
Photo: Screenshot Global Carbon Project

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WGBU), which is co-chaired by Schellnhuber and advises the German federal government, just recently presented a Special Report on "Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement" to the Federal Environment Minister and the State Secretary from the Federal Ministry of Research and Education. In 100-plus pages, the report sketches possible pathways for climate policy ­– for instance through divestment, withdrawing investment out of fossil fuels, a strategy which both companies and individuals can follow.

Immediately before the climate summit two new reports excited a lot of attention: one on the New Climate Economy by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (Calderòn Commission) and the second by the Global Carbon Project. Numerous researchers from around the globe were involved in these reports, including scientists from PIK. PIK's Chief Economist and Deputy Director Ottmar Edenhofer is a scientific advisor to the commission led by the former Mexican president Felipe Calderòn, which investigates climate-friendly pathways for growth. Edenhofer was interviewed about the report by the New York Times and other media.

The new figures on worldwide CO2 emissions presented by the Global Carbon Project draw ­– among other sources ­– on a study to which PIK researcher Gunnar Luderer contributed. This study was subject of a guest article co-authored by PIK's deputy director Edenhofer together with Hildegard Müller, chief executive of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, in the German newspaper Handelsblatt. Meanwhile in the Süddeutsche Zeitung director Schellnhuber published a guest contribution - topics that were being discussed in the corridors at the New York summit as well.


Weblink to Global Carbon Project:

Weblink to New Climate Economy:

Weblink to the study by Luderer from PIK:

Weblink to a a guest contribution by Schellnhuber in Süddeutschen Zeitung:

Weblink to a guest contribution by Edenhofers in Handelsblatt:

Weblink to the Special Report by the WBGU:

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