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.
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How global trade can help the climate

06/24/2022 - The climate policy potential of international trade rules agreed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) still has room for improvement. Policymakers should change some rules - and make greater use of others, according to an article now published in the leading scientific journal Science by experts from twelve countries, including researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
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How taxing the rich can help everyone

06/23/22 - Taxing rich peoples’ gains from capital can help reduce inequality while keeping up overall prosperity – yet only on two conditions. First, the revenues from taxation must be invested into public infrastructure such as schools, public transport, or sustainable energy grids. Second, it must be fairly possible to replace machines by labour. This is the outcome of a mathematical modelling study by a team of economists including US Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
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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.
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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.
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Food sector emissions accounting: Sharing responsibility across the value chain

06/09/2022 - A new approach to account for emissions caused in the food sector that considers trade, as technical as it sounds, could help meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. Spreading the responsibility to reduce onto all countries along a product’s value chain could yield substantial effects, according to a study now published in Nature Communications.
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Press Release

Climate Economics: Policies change People

06/09/22 - The makers of climate policy should rethink about how people think: A team of researchers led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) shows that abiding by climate-friendly policies actually changes the way people think about what they do. People’s preferences are more malleable than textbook economics often assumes. The researchers’ advice to policy makers is to take changing preferences into account when tailoring policies like carbon taxes or building low-carbon infrastructure.
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PIK-Scientist Svenja Fluhrer awarded with Early Career Best Paper Award

06/03/2022 - Development economist Svenja Fluhrer was awarded with the prize "Ökonomie des Klimawandels - Early Career Best Paper Award" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. She received the award for her paper "Sitting in the same boat: Subjective well-being and social comparison after an extreme weather event", published in Ecological Economics.
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PIK Director Edenhofer speaks at G7 summit

06/02/2022 - The G7 finance ministers met last week in Bonn and Königswinter to agree on common positions in areas such as climate action, ensuring economic stability and other pressing issues, and also sought exchanges with the scientific community. PIK director and climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer spoke at the summit on carbon neutrality and climate clubs.
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PIK experts appointed to Berlin's "Klimaschutzrat"

05/13/22 - Two PIK researchers, Cornelia Auer and Julia Epp, have been appointed to the "Klimaschutzrat" of the city of Berlin. The 18-member body with experts from science, business and representatives of civil society will advise the Berlin Senate and the House of Representatives on issues of climate mitigation and energy policy.
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German Prize for Economics of the Joachim Herz Foundation for Linus Mattauch

09/05/2022 - Every other year, the Joachim Herz Foundation honours scientists in interdisciplinary research in economics for their significant contribution to the further development of economic research. This year, the award aimed to honour scientists in the field of 'environmental economics'. Prof. Dr. Linus Mattauch together with his colleague Jiaxin Zhao was awarded third place with their paper 'When Standards have better Distributional Consequences than Carbon Taxes'.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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COP26: PIK experts in Glasgow

11/03/2021 - Several experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research will be on site at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, to contribute their scientific expertise. We collected some highlight events with PIK researchers organizing or participating.
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The Ripple Factor: Economic losses from weather extremes can amplify each other across the world

27/10/2021 - Weather extremes can cause economic ripples along our supply chains. If they occur at roughly the same time the ripples start interacting and can amplify even if they occur at completely different places around the world, a new study shows. The resulting economic losses are greater than the sum of the initial events, the researchers find in computer simulations of the global economic network. Rich economies are affected much stronger than poor ones, according to the calculations. Currently, weather extremes around the world are increasing due to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. If they happen simultaneously or in quick succession even at different places on the planet, their economic repercussions can become much bigger than previously thought.
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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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New economic model shows how our social networks could contribute to generating phenomena like inequality and business cycles

07/05/2021 - Many standard economic models assume people make perfectly rational, individual decisions. But new research suggests economic phenomena like inequality and business cycles are better explained by models which recognize that people’s decisions are affected by the decisions and the behaviors of people around them.
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Smart transfer rules can strengthen EU climate policy

06/25/2021 - Brussels sets ambitious targets with the European Green Deal, so how can we ensure that all member states go along with them? An economic study on decision-making in groups of states gives us clues.
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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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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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RD2 Beitrag über die rolle einer demokratischen Konfliktkultur auf Berliner Energietage

06/04/2021 - Populistische Parteien und Akteure haben den Kampf gegen die Energiewende als ein Thema für sich entdeckt und versuchen diese als "Elitenprojekt" zu diffamieren. In diesem Session, moderiert durch RD2 Wissenschaftler Seraja Bock, sprechen Expert*innen über diese populistischen Akteuren, wie sie auf das Prozess Einfluss nehmen und was eine demokratische Konfliktkultur dem entgegen setzen könnte.
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