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SPECIAL: Direct CO2 pricing gives room for additional voluntary emissions reductions

Foto: iStockMost climate economist agree that it makes sense to put a price tag on the emission of the most important greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, CO2. The discussion primarily revolves around whether it would be better to achieve this through a tax or emissions trading. Arguments include the administrative effort involved, the signal effect for investors, and the political enforceability. A new study based on a scientifically controlled experiment now sheds light on another aspect that has barely been researched so far: the incentive effect of both options on actors who want to act morally beyond their economic interests. The study was conducted by the economists Axel Ockenfels, Peter Werner and Ottmar Edenhofer, and has now been published in the renowned journal Nature Sustainability. Read more...

Engage with the altruists, ignore the free-riders: New study explores communication dynamics in climate negotiations

Engage with the altruists, ignore the free-riders: New study explores communication dynamics in climate negotiations

07/16/2020 - Communication is the key to overcoming the social dilemma of mitigating climate change, which requires investments from various actors towards a common goal. According to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and co-authored by Jürgen Kurths and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, communicating sentiment and outlook significantly improves group interactions in climate change mitigation processes.

Engage with the altruists, ignore the free-riders: New study explores communication dynamics in climate negotiations - Read More…

Science Platform Climate Protection: The German government's Corona economic stimulus package needs a climate impact assessment

Science Platform Climate Protection: The German government's Corona economic stimulus package needs a climate impact assessment

07/09/2020 - On July 9, 2020, the Steering Committee of the German Science Platform Climate Protection (WPKS) presented and discussed with State Secretaries Jochen Flasbarth (BMU) and Wolf-Dieter Lukas (BMBF) a statement on climate policy requirements for the design of economic stimulus packages in the Corona crisis. Eight renowned scientists from various disciplines coordinate the tasks of the Science Platform Climate Protection in the Steering Committee. In doing so, they support the Federal Government in the implementation and further development of the Climate Protection Plan 2050 and thus contribute to achieving national, European and international climate protection goals.

Science Platform Climate Protection: The German government's Corona economic stimulus package needs a climate impact assessment - Read More…

Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future

Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future

07/07/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the world into turmoil and disrupted the status quo, but it is also providing opportunities for innovation in the way we live and work. According to the latest report released by The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative, the crisis can lead to creating sustainable societies with higher levels of wellbeing for all. Beyond political will, small-scale, granular innovations that are affordable and can be widely applied are key here.

Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future - Read More…

Minister Schüle visits PIK: "Brandenburg's institute of the future"

Minister Schüle visits PIK: "Brandenburg's institute of the future"

24/06/2020 - The Minister for Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg, Manja Schüle, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) today. PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer informed the Minister about the institute's current research priorities and exchanged views with her on strategies to further strengthen Brandenburg's research landscape.

Minister Schüle visits PIK: "Brandenburg's institute of the future" - Read More…

World Food Convention 2020 features keynote by Professor Lotze-Campen on food security

World Food Convention 2020 features keynote by Professor Lotze-Campen on food security

24/06/2020 - The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the volatility of our global food supply. In his keynote "Cooperation, preparation, information – how to prepare the food system for economic shocks", Professor Hermann Lotze-Campen, Head of PIK’s Climate Resilience Department, will contribute to this year's annual World Food Convention by addressing the crucial role international collaboration plays for averting future hunger crises in the wake of climate-related disasters.

World Food Convention 2020 features keynote by Professor Lotze-Campen on food security - Read More…

Museum für Naturkunde & PIK launch Summer School for Climate Knowledge

Museum für Naturkunde & PIK launch Summer School for Climate Knowledge

06/19/2020 - At the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, interested guests can use the summer holidays to strengthen their knowledge of the climate and its effects - and young people from all over Germany can take part online. The summer school is taking place in cooperation with researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and for the first time digitally. The easy-to-understand lectures and workshops complement each other, but can also be attended individually.

Museum für Naturkunde & PIK launch Summer School for Climate Knowledge - Read More…

Excellency rewarded

Excellency rewarded

June 2020 - The research of two young scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has recently been awarded for its excellence: Xiaoxi Wang wins China Council Scholarship, Andrew McConnell receives prize from Oxford's Martin School.

Excellency rewarded - Read More…

Bettina Hörstrup appointed as Administrative Director

Bettina Hörstrup appointed as Administrative Director

17/06/2020 - The new position of Administrative Director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will be filled by Bettina Hörstrup. A lawyer by training, she is currently Head of Human Resources and deputy of the Administrative Board at Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, a Helmholtz Centre. She starts at PIK in August. Her appointment completes the new leadership of the Potsdam Institute that has been established with Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer as Directors in 2018/19.

Bettina Hörstrup appointed as Administrative Director - Read More…

Johan Rockström receives Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Award

Johan Rockström receives Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Award

11/06/2020 - The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has honored personalities and organisations for their commitment to the preservation of the planet since 2008. This morning, the Foundation announced this year´s three winners in the categories “Water”, “Climate Change” and “Biodiversity”.

Johan Rockström receives Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Award - Read More…

Federal Government reappoints Wolfgang Lucht to the German Advisory Council

Federal Government reappoints Wolfgang Lucht to the German Advisory Council

10.06.2020 - The German government has reappointed Wolfgang Lucht to its German Advisory Council on the Environment. Lucht is co-head of the Earth System Analysis Department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and has been a member of the Council for the past four years. Only a few days ago, the seven-member Council submitted a report of several hundred pages - which is only published every four years - to the Federal Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze. The committee of professors repeatedly takes a critical stance on current issues and thus advises the government.

Federal Government reappoints Wolfgang Lucht to the German Advisory Council - Read More…

The Sustainability Dialogues Podcast

The Sustainability Dialogues Podcast

05/06/2020 - What happens when a professional snowboarder and a distinguished climate scientist take off to the mountains together? The results are now public – a podcast with five episodes, covering topics from ice and glaciers to what to eat to save the world.

The Sustainability Dialogues Podcast - Read More…

Corona crisis fuels hate against Chinese on Twitter: Commentary

Corona crisis fuels hate against Chinese on Twitter: Commentary

19/05/2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has the world firmly in its grip with millions of confirmed cases worldwide and whole countries in full or partial lockdown. Despite calls for solidarity across borders and countless local support initiatives, various incidents prove that the corona outbreak has also given rise to a series of racist attacks against Chinese people and people with Asian looking features both on the streets and in social media networks. A team of researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has now investigated the use of discriminating language against Chinese people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic on Twitter.

Corona crisis fuels hate against Chinese on Twitter: Commentary - Read More…

Caring for the future is key for cooperation to prevent climate collapse: study

Caring for the future is key for cooperation to prevent climate collapse: study

20/05/2020 - How much decision-makers care about the future and not just the present is one key factor for whether or not they take action to stabilize our climate. Another one is how severe they assume the impacts of climate collapse to be. However, the number of actors is decisive – for instance the number of relevant countries, since efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have to be international to add up to the amount needed to prevent a crisis. This is shown by a novel mathematical study. It finds a strong effect of diffusion of responsibility in scenarios with large numbers of actors. The study combines game theory and learning dynamics to explore which options for enhanced political cooperation should now urgently be studied empirically.

Caring for the future is key for cooperation to prevent climate collapse: study - Read More…

Delayed monsoon onset in Central India: early warning forecast

Delayed monsoon onset in Central India: early warning forecast

12/05/2020 - Summer Monsoon in Central India will likely begin between 18th and 26 of June, according to the new early forecast developed at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Led by PIK expert Elena Surovyatkina, the Monsoon forecast method showed to be successful already four years in a row. With global warming the monsoon is changing, breaking well-established “rules” of the phenomenon and thus becoming more unpredictable. A raising demand for a new understanding of the Indian Monsoon in order to be better prepared makes long-term forecasting even more important.

Delayed monsoon onset in Central India: early warning forecast - Read More…

Petersberg Dialogue: Merkel speech on climate "an important reassurance"

Petersberg Dialogue: Merkel speech on climate "an important reassurance"

29/04/2020 - This week, international decision-makers met online for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. Germany's head of government Angela Merkel in her speech reaffirmed her commitment to climate stabilization. "This is an important reassurance in the midst of the global health crisis", comment the Directors of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Petersberg Dialogue: Merkel speech on climate "an important reassurance" - Read More…

Five years after the Paris Agreement: Large gap between promises and current implementation

Five years after the Paris Agreement: Large gap between promises and current implementation

29/04/2020 - Achieving the overall goals of the Paris Agreement will require a deep reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, ideally by around 40%–50% by 2030. However, current national implementation of climate policies remains insufficient, yielding only around 5.5% reduction in emissions by 2030. The study was coordinated by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Utrecht University in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and was published in Nature Communications. The findings are a contribution to the global evaluation of the Paris Agreement, held during the next three years.

Five years after the Paris Agreement: Large gap between promises and current implementation - Read More…

G20 and climate: Edenhofer speaks at Global Solutions Summit

G20 and climate: Edenhofer speaks at Global Solutions Summit

23/04/2020 - To advance the coupling of economic and environmental prosperity, leading thinkers and doers assembled at this year's Global Solutions Summit. PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer was invited to deliver a keynote on what the G20 – the world’s largest economies – can do to prepare the road towards the next global climate summit COP26. The focus was on how to ensure functioning global carbon markets. Gunnar Luderer, also from the Potsdam Institute, participated in a panel debate on a circular carbon economy – in fact mitigation options such as storing or re-using CO2 emissions, or using biomass and renewables based-fuels.

G20 and climate: Edenhofer speaks at Global Solutions Summit - Read More…

Digital Earth Day 2020: A Conversation between Greta Thunberg and Johan Rockström from the Nobel Museum

Digital Earth Day 2020: A Conversation between Greta Thunberg and Johan Rockström from the Nobel Museum

April 22, 2020 marked the 50th year since Earth Day was first organised to highlight major environmental challenges in the world. On that day, Greta Thunberg and Johan Rockström have met for a digital conversation about courage, solidarity and opportunities in times of crisis. Greta stressed the need to listen to the science – in both the Corona pandemic and the climate emergency. The talk was hosted by the Nobel Foundation and live-streamed from the Nobel Prize Museum, Stockholm. Over 600 people from all over the world have tuned in, a few thousand watched the recorded version on Youtube, and many media have covered it. The talk is still available online, see link below.

Digital Earth Day 2020: A Conversation between Greta Thunberg and Johan Rockström from the Nobel Museum - Read More…

Novel network analysis confirms: #stayathome helps limit virus mutations

Novel network analysis confirms: #stayathome helps limit virus mutations

16/04/2020 – Both the virus diseases of the 2013 Ebola regional epidemic and the current COVID-19 global pandemic have seen virus mutations between hosts – a normal phenomenon with the potential to turn viruses even more harmful. A team of scientists including researchers from Humboldt University and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has now employed advanced mathematical models to explore these dynamics. Their findings confirm public health responses like suspending long-haul travel, but also the call to stay at home. Further, they underline the importance of closely tracking genetic mutations during virus outbreaks to facilitate crisis response.

Novel network analysis confirms: #stayathome helps limit virus mutations - Read More…

Johan Rockström joins Daimler’s Advisory Board for Corporate Responsibility

Johan Rockström joins Daimler’s Advisory Board for Corporate Responsibility

Spring 2020 – Daimler, the automobile manufacturer, known for premium cars and the largest heavy vehicle producer in the world in the world, has called upon Johan Rockström to join its Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility. As one of nine independent members from science, civic organizations, and business, the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) will offer his critical thinking to the change process the car industry is facing.

Johan Rockström joins Daimler’s Advisory Board for Corporate Responsibility - Read More…

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