04/19/2017 - As an "attack on the Enlightenment", the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, described the post-truth populism in a guest contribution to the leading German weekly "Zeit". In more than 500 cities worldwide, the "March for Science" - demonstrations for science - takes place on April 22nd. Schellnhuber supports the corresponding activities in Germany. Other PIK scientists are involved as well, a number of them have already articulated their stance in advance.
04/05/2017 - While start-up costs of thermal power plants increase due to the energy transition, they remain on a rather low level. This is shown in a new study published in Nature Energy by researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). Before power plants fueled by coal, gas or oil are able to generate electricity, they have to be started up to a minimum load level. This incurs costs related to additional fuel consumption as well as wear and tear.
31/03/2017 - In a policy brief for the G20, an expert group urges the governments of the world's leading economies to track progress on the state of food security and, based on this, to scale investment opportunities and target their interventions. Hermann Lotze-Campen, head of the research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, contributed to this report which is part of the Think Tank 20 (T20) process under Germany’s G20 presidency.
03/29/2017 - US President Trump recently signed an executive order to roll back US climate policies. "Donald Trump's attempt to turn the US into a Jurassic Park run by dinosaur energy will eventually fail," comments Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
03/24/2017 - New strategies to deal with the growing risk of extreme weather events in the context of diminishing political support for environmental and climate issues in the US – to this Kevin M. Simmons recently gave a talk at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research entitled "Where are the Economists?".
03/17/2017 - In a policy brief for the G20 finance ministers, an expert group led by Ottmar Edenhofer proposes low-carbon growth stimulation through a steep increase in sustainable infrastructure, mobilizing sustainable finance, and adoption of carbon pricing. This would simultaneously achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, the experts argue. The Finance minister and central bankers of the world's leading economies meet in Baden-Baden, Germany, this weekend. Edenhofer is chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as well as Director of the Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC).
03/16/2017 - The increasingly important connection between art and science is highlighted in March's Nature Climate Change edition. The book "Alice, the Zeta Cat and Climate Change" by Margret Boysen, Artistic Director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), serves a prime example in the highly renowned journal's article. It stands for many efforts to make the climate debate part of culture, and culture part of the climate debate.
At a festive dinner with the Dutch king and queen, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and Jérôme Dangerman of the Kiemt Foundation have sealed a cooperation agreement for future research on energy issues and decarbonisation. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lilianne Ploumen had invited a handpicked number of guests from politics and enterprises to the exclusive dinner in Leipzig, among them the prime minister of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich.
2017/02/10 - This week, all scientists and staff of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) gathered for their annual roadshow of scientific achievements and discussions of future projects. Packed with presentations and debates, PIK´s Research Days are an unequalled opportunity to share insights and shape the future course of the institute.
01/27/2017 The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) belongs to the top environmental think tanks worldwide, a new ranking shows. Only the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has scored better in this category, according to the "Global Go To Think Tank Index Report 2016" that has just been published by the University of Pennsylvania. PIK improved its position from rank 7 last year and rank 8 in the year before. Altogether, the ranking considered more than 6000 institutions across the globe.
01/23/2017 - Some of the most distinguished international climate experts are gathering in Potsdam this week for a symposium of the Earth League, a self-organized initiative of leading researchers on global change. During two days, they will discuss how the Great Transformation towards sustainability can be brought about. The success of the Paris climate agreement aiming at completely decarbonizing our economies within a few decades is by no means ensured; fulfilling its objectives requires a ratcheting-up of ambitions through social, political and economic progress.
01/20/2017 - Today, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as 45th President of the United States. "His populism as a business model will not prove viable in the long term," comments Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), Professor at Technische Universität Berlin.
23/12/2016 - Groundwater has contributed greatly to increasing food security by ensuring water availability for irrigation at critical times. Today, 43 percent of global food production depends on groundwater use. However, water reserves are not endless, and climate change puts additional pressure on groundwater management. A new transdisciplinary and international research group on Water Management in the Future Earth Framework will address these challenges, co-chaired by Anne Biewald of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). As part of the Sustainable Water Future Programme, several research groups will bring together the best international expertise to drive solutions to the world’s water problems.
12/19/2016 - Benchmarks to guide countries in ratcheting-up their ambition to remain well-below 2°C and pursue 1,5°C in an equitable manner are critical but not yet determined in the context of the Paris Agreement. A new study published in Nature Climate Change analyzes the national climate targets needed to meet the 1.5°C and 2°C goals according to five different equity principles, and how these compare with the current climate pledges.
16/12/2016 - The holiday season is in full swing and many enjoy the opportunity to feast – or to make new year resolutions for a healthier diet. What we eat is more than a private decision – the agriculture and land use sector is one of the central players in ambitious climate change mitigation efforts. Yet, mitigation policies in agriculture may conflict with food security. A team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research analyzed the impacts on food prices under mitigation policies – targeting either incentives for producers or consumer preferences. They show that policy instruments to mitigate climate change with an educational approach to change food preferences can avoid unwanted impacts of climate change mitigation measures on food security.
14/12/2016 – Germany has taken the presidency of the G20 in the beginning of December. Leading PIK-scientists support the Federal Government in this process on several levels. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), handed over a Special Report with concrete recommendations for action on a transformation together with the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Last week at the kick-off of the so-called T20-process, the team of PIK’s chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer took the lead of the task force on climate policy.
12/08/2016 - Pope Francis called upon scientists to protect the world from climate change and its impacts, such as poverty and conflict. The leader of 1.3 billion Catholics addressed the bi-annual assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. During this event Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, was formally introduced as a member of this most distinguished scientific body. He was already appointed by the pope in June 2015, previous to the presentation of the “green” encyclical Laudato Si in the Vatican, where Schellnhuber was speaking on behalf of the entire scientific community. Sustainability issues were at the heart of the recent assembly, which was attended by many Nobel Laureates and other eminent researchers. The Pontifical Academy has only 80 life-time members, who are chosen exclusively on the grounds of excellence and relevance, regardless of their faith or origin.
Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), speaks at the distinguished Tanner Lecture at Princeton University. Free and open to the public, the Tanner Lectures On Human Values are conducted by leaders of their field. The lectures are considered to be among the most renowned lecture series in the United States, presented annually at each of nine renowned universities including Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Utah, Yale, and the University of California, Berkeley.
2016/11/28 – Max Franks from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honoured with the Potsdam Young Scientist Award. Mayor Jann Jakobs handed the prize to Franks at the Einstein Day of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in appreciation of his outstanding achievements in the field of economic sciences.
11/21/2016 – After the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the climate conference in Marrakech confirmed once more that energy production based on the use of coal has no future, if international climate targets are to be met. This was not only relevant for the United Nations, but also for Europe, Germany or the Federal State of Brandenburg. Business as usual with lignite would not only harm the world climate, but also the economic development of regions like the German Lausitz. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber , Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, recently spoke about these topics at the state of Brandenburg’s press conference. Together with Marc Lawrence of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), he was invited by the journalists to comment on the first year of the Paris Agreement, on German climate policy and the relevance for the Federal State of Brandenburg. Schellnhuber promoted the idea of developing a phase-out plan for coal use which would shape the transformation towards clean energy technologies with the aim of creating sustainable jobs in lignite-minig areas such as the Lausitz and the Rhineland.