News

PIK experts appointed to Berlin´s "Klimaschutzrat"

22/05/13 - 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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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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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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Statement to Environmental Committee of the Berlin House of Representatives by Fritz Reusswig

29/04/2021 - Fritz Reusswig was invited to the Berlin House of Representatives as an expert to comment the amendment to the Berlin Energy Law (EWG Bln), issued by the red-green-red Berlin government. With this law, the Berlin Senate wants to align its climate politics to the Paris Agreement goals.
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The new EU climate target will increase carbon prices and could phase out coal power in Europe as early as 2030

04/27/2021 - Tightening the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) in line with the EU Green Deal would dramatically speed up the decarbonization of Europe's power sector – and likely cause a demise of the coal industry. In a new study a team of researchers from Potsdam, Germany has quantified the substantial shifts Europe's electricity system is about to undergo when the newly decided EU climate target gets implemented. Higher carbon prices, the authors show, are not only an inevitable step to cut emissions – they will also lead much faster to an inexpensive electricity system powered by renewable energies.
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Data-based analysis of climate decisions

How do we – individually and as a society – respond to a changing climatic environment and extreme weather events?
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Solar panels are contagious - but in a good way: study

04/21/2021 - The number of solar panels within shortest distance from a house is the most important factor in determining the likelihood of that house having a solar panel, when compared with a host of socio-economic and demographic variables. This is shown in a new study by scientists using satellite and census data of the city of Fresno in the US, and employing machine learning. Although it is known that peer effects are relevant for sustainable energy choices, very high-resolution data combined with artificial intelligence techniques were necessary to single out the paramount importance of proximity. The finding is relevant for policies that aim at a broad deployment of solar panels in order to replace unsustainable fossil fueled energy generation.
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Erratic weather slows down the economy

02/08/2021 - If temperature varies strongly from day to day, the economy grows less. Through these seemingly small variations climate change may have strong effects on economic growth. This shows data analyzed by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Columbia University and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). In a new study in Nature Climate Change, they juxtapose observed daily temperature changes with economic data from more than 1,500 regions worldwide over 40 years – with startling results.
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Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation

02/08/2021 - COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal – a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. Their findings show that the pandemic, while putting a terrible toll on people’s lives and the economy, has also opened a window of opportunity to make this current trend of decreasing coal use irreversible: Supported by the right climate policy measures, power sector emissions could decline more rapidly than previously thought.
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New hope for the climate: Edenhofer & Rockström on Biden US Presidency

01/26/2021 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) puts hope in the start of Joe Biden's presidency after climate topics have been rather neglected for the last four years of from US side. PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer explores the concept of carbon pricing as a possible tool for the new US administration and Johan Rockström, Director of PIK along with Ottmar Edenhofer, signed a global ambition letter together with known CEO'S - from Amazon to Ford Motor Company - and world climate leaders, calling on US President Joe Biden to be the climate leader that science demands.
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PIK STATEMENT on the EU climate target and on the Paris Agreement's 5th anniversary

12/11/2020 - Today, the European Council adopted the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. On 12 December, the historic Paris climate agreement has its 5th anniversary of being adopted by representatives of more than 196 countries plus the EU at the UN climate summit COP21.
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CO2 pricing and financial transfers: small changes can have a huge effect on climate equity

12/09/2020 - Global greenhouse-gas emission reductions could be achieved in a fair and thrifty way by surprisingly small variations of well-known policies. This is shown by a team of economists in a quantitative study now published in Nature. Differentiated CO2 prices in different countries combined with moderate financial transfers from advanced to developing countries would do the job. These changes would be most efficient in achieving fair burden sharing and at the same time keep overall costs in check, the researchers find. This could solve the epic trilemma to unite cost-efficiency, national sovereignty and fair effort-sharing.
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