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Fungi-based meat alternatives to help save Earth’s forests

05/04/22 - Substituting just a fifth of meat from cattle with microbial protein - a meat alternative produced in fermentation tanks - by 2050 could halve deforestation, a new analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now published in Nature finds. The market-ready meat alternative is very similar in taste and texture, but is a biotech product which – by replacing beef – involves much less land resources and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land-use change. This goes under the assumption of a growing world population’s increasing appetite for beefy bites, and it is the first time researchers have projected the development of these market-ready meat substitutes into the future, assessing their potential impact on the environment.
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Sustaining Peace Amidst the Climate Crisis: PIK Scientists at the Federal Foreign Office

04/05/2022 - How can data and innovative technologies be used for climate protection and crisis prevention?
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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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Girls'Day 2022: A digital look behind the scenes at PIK

04/28/2022 - In 2022, the nation-wide schoolgirl empowerment day called "Girls' Day" was held under the motto "Digitalisation & Sustainability". The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) also took part in the campaign - as in the previous year, entirely online. This enabled participants from all over Germany to meet virtually at Telegraphenberg. The schoolgirls aged twelve to 16 were able to take a look behind the scenes at PIK and learn about the everyday work of female scientists on Girls' Day.
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Experts’ statement calls to acknowledge links between climate change and conflict

04/27/2022 – Relevant leaders in the fields of climate science, peacebuilding and security, amongst them PIK Directors Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer, have endorsed a joint statement calling for the links between climate change and conflict to inform a broad spectrum of policymaking and programming.
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Citizen participation for energy transition in Hesse and Berlin

04/25/2022 - Citizen participation is an important element of modern policy for the energy transition. Sociologist Fritz Reusswig from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is involved in corresponding approaches in the two federal states of Hesse and Berlin and will be participating in events there this week. His research group works, among other things, on energy conflicts.
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Planetary boundaries update: freshwater boundary exceeds safe limits

04/26/2022 - A reassessment of the planetary boundary for freshwater indicates that it has now been transgressed, according to an international team of researchers led by the Stockholm Resilience Centre and including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. This conclusion is due to the inclusion of “green water” – the water available to plants – into the boundary assessment for the first time.
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New Advisory Council for Area Development of the Ministry of Construction

04/25/2022 - The Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building (BMWSB) has appointed Hermann Lotze-Campen, a researcher from Potsdam, to its new Advisory Council for Area Development. The aim of the advisory board is to advise the ministry in the current legislative period on fundamental questions of spatial development and the strengthening of regions in Germany. Lotze-Campen, an agricultural economist, heads the Climate Resilience Department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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Combining climate and archeological data sheds new light on human origins

A study published in Nature by an international team of scientists provides clear evidence for a link between astronomically-driven climate change and human evolution.
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Statement

"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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Press Release

European Union appoints Edenhofer to Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change

03/24/2022 - The European Climate Law adopted in 2021 provides for the establishment of a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change to support achieving climate neutrality in the European Union by 2050. The European Environment Agency now appointed economist Ottmar Edenhofer to this unique new board which will meet for the first time this Friday. Edenhofer is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change as well as Professor at Technische Universität Berlin. The Advisory Board will give independent scientific advice and produce reports on EU policies and their coherence with the Climate Law and the EU's commitments under the Paris Agreement.
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Press Release

Food crisis due to Ukraine war calls for demand-side action: less animal products, less waste, and greening EU agricultural policy

03/18/2022 - The global food system is impacted by the war in Ukraine, adding to the direct humanitarian and security crisis caused by the Russian aggression. Ukraine and Russia are major producers of grains and fertilizers, yet their exports are at risk of getting disrupted. However, agricultural policy-makers – like the EU ministers meeting on Monday – should not abandon sustainable farming practices just to increase grain production, a team of scientists argues. They propose three key measures to cope with the shocks. In a statement published today they highlight that, instead of focusing only on the supply side for e.g. animal feed, it is changing the demand side which can lead to both a more resilient and more sustainable global food system.
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Forests, Food, Pandemics and the Extinction of Species: Research network publishes "10 Must Knows" on biodiversity

03/16/22 - "10 Must Knows from Biodiversity Science”, ranging from climate stress for forests to the corona virus that has jumped from animals to humans, are now published for the first time. More than 45 experts from the German Leibniz Research Network Biodiversity and colleagues have compiled this inventory on the preservation of nature as the basis of human life. In the run-up to the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, and parallel to the preparatory meetings currently underway in Geneva, Switzerland, this report is intended to invite dialogue. At the same time, the researchers voice clear policy demands.
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Press Release

Research of "outstanding quality" - with further development: Evaluation of the Potsdam Institute by Leibniz experts

03/15/2022 - "Research results of outstanding quality", "highly demanded policy advice": A team of high-ranking international scientists has given the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) an exceptionally positive review. The Leibniz Association has now published the results of the periodic evaluation. In addition to the institute's successes, the report highlights opportunities for growth in terms of the scope of PIK’s work. For example, the social science work on solutions to problems and challenges arising from climate change is to be further expanded, which will require additional public funding.
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Statement

PIK Statement on the German Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2021

03/15/2022 - Today, the Germany's Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) has released its greenhouse gas emissions report 2021 for Germany. Unlike global emissions, German emissions have not reached another record high, but have risen nonetheless.
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Press Release

Amazon rainforest is losing resilience: new evidence from satellite data analysis

03/07/2022 - The Amazon rainforest is likely losing resilience, data analysis from high-resolution satellite images suggests. Resilience loss in pristine parts of the rainforest is mainly due to stress from nearby human activity, such as logging and slash-and-burn. The influence of human-caused climate change is not clearly determinable so far, but will likely matter greatly in the future. For about three quarters of the forest, the ability to recover from perturbation has been decreasing since the early 2000s, which the scientists see as a warning sign. The new evidence is derived from advanced statistical analysis of satellite data of changes in vegetation biomass.
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Potsdam and Exeter agree 'tipping points' partnership

03/03/2022 - The University of Exeter and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have signed an agreement to jointly investigate climate change tipping points.
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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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Security Implications of Climate Change: PIK at US Africa Command Symposium

01/28/2022 - Participants from across the globe attended a two-day Security Implications of Climate Change Symposium at U.S. Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, Jan. 27-28.
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Rockström on Climate Risk and Conflict at Munich Security Conference

02/21/2022 - Human-made climate change has arrived at centre-stage in the security community. As the 2022 Munich Security Report shows, attendants at this year's Munich Security Conference perceived climate change as a real security threat. Against this and the backdrop of rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Johan Rockström had been invited to Munich to address the global security experts, including heads of states and high-ranking military officials, to share science’s latest assessment of climate risks and security, and to sketch a way forward.
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Press Release

Science Platform for Climate Protection submits report to German government

02/18/2022 - Today, the Science Platform on Climate Protection' delivered its first annual report to the German government. Sabine Schlacke, Director of the Institute for Energy, Environmental and Maritime Law at the University of Greifswald, and economist Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, presented the group's insights at the Federal Press Conference. Their recommendations were well received by Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger and the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate, Patrick Graichen.
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Experiences of Climate Extremes likely to Lean European Voters towards Green Parties

02/07/2022 - Awareness of and concern for environmental issues has risen across Europe in the past two decades, and so has the willingness to vote for green parties. A new study has looked into this correlation, collecting subnational election data for a large number of countries and combining it with environmental data.
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India’s rice at risk: Brown planthopper a growing threat as global warming increases

01/28/2022 - Climate change increases the risk of brown planthopper rice pest in India, one of the most alarming pests of this important agricultural staple. This is the result of a new study. Particularly increasing temperatures play a crucial role in the spreading, potentially doubling the total area under high pest risk from seven to more than 15 percent – even if global temperature rise can be kept below 2 °C. If unabated, climate change could further contribute to the spreading of the pest in the future, possibly leading to more than 50 percent of Indian rice production areas under severe threat by the brown planthopper.
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Taxing Meat can Protect the Environment: New Study by Oxford, PIK, and TU Berlin

17/01/2022 - A 20-60 % increase in prices for meat through a tax could be an important lever for aligning Western diets with environmental goals and can be designed such that low-income households and farmers are compensated.
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Press Release

Rainy days harm the economy

12/01/2022 - Economic growth goes down when the number of wet days and days with extreme rainfall go up, a team of Potsdam scientists finds. Rich countries are most severely affected and herein the manufacturing and service sectors, according to their study now published as cover story in the renowned science journal Nature. The data analysis of more than 1.500 regions over the past 40 years shows a clear connection and suggests that intensified daily rainfall driven by climate-change from burning oil and coal will harm the global economy.
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PIK Podcast: A plate full of sustainability - Chef Megha Kohli and scientist Hermann Lotze-Campen take a mouthful

12/20/2021 - A new episode of the podcast "Sustain Ability. The Potsdam Dialogues" is out. From cauliflower to climate change: Chef Megha Kohli from New Delhi, India, and agricultural economist Hermann Lotze-Campen from the Potsdam Institute talk about what’s cooking in our current food system.
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