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SPECIAL: Coal exit benefits outweigh its costs

Phasing out coal yields global net saving effect: Lignite-fired power plants in Germany. Photo: iStock. Coal combustion is not only the single most important source of CO2, accounting for more than a third of global emissions, but also a major contributor to detrimental effects on public health and biodiversity. Yet, globally phasing out coal remains one of the hardest political nuts to crack. New computer simulations by an international team of researchers are now providing robust economic arguments for why it is worth the effort: For once, their simulations show that the world cannot stay below the 2 degrees limit if we continue to burn coal. Second, the benefits of phasing out coal clearly outweigh the costs. Third, those benefits occur mostly locally and short-term, which make them useful for policy makers. Read more...

Edenhofer Among 10 Most Influential Economists in Germany

Edenhofer Among 10 Most Influential Economists in Germany

25/09/2019 - Among Germany's most important economic researchers, PIK Director Ottmar Edenhofer is one of the top 10 in the ranking of the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), thus once again performing excellently. Compared to last year, Edenhofer, who is also Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and Professor of Climate Economics at the TU Berlin, has risen five places and improved his position to 7th place.

Edenhofer Among 10 Most Influential Economists in Germany - Read More…

Johan Rockström Chairs Newly Launched Earth Commission

Johan Rockström Chairs Newly Launched Earth Commission

19/09/2019 - The initiative of 20 globally renowned scientists on Earth Systems sets out to identify the concrete risks climate change brings for cities and firms. They aim to delineate the exact scientific borders of what our Planet can bear in terms of human-made climatic changes. Specifically, the commission will elaborate concrete tangible targets for cities and firms, thus scientifically underpinning tailored Goals for Land, Water, Oceans, and Biodiversity.

Johan Rockström Chairs Newly Launched Earth Commission - Read More…

PIK & MCC STATEMENT: “German Government has not delivered”

PIK & MCC STATEMENT: “German Government has not delivered”

20/09/2019 - The German government decided today to initiate carbon pricing in the transport and heating sectors. It is to start at 10 euros and gradually rise to 35 euros in 2025. In 2026, the pricing scheme will be converted into a national emissions trading system with a minimum price of 35 euros and a maximum price of 60 euros; how things will continue thereafter shall be determined in 2025. Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), comments:

PIK & MCC STATEMENT: “German Government has not delivered” - Read More…

Earth League scientists back global climate protests

Earth League scientists back global climate protests

18/09/2019 - Humanity is tipping the scales of the world, eminent Earth League scientists say in a joint statement. They throw their weight into the balance to support global climate action culminating in this Friday's demonstrations and the UN climate summit next week. The future of life-support systems on Earth is determined by a dual tipping - for better or worse. Either a social tipping towards sustainability happens quickly, or all too soon a tipping of critical parts in the Earth System may threaten the stability of life on our planet. The scientists call upon everyone to demand that political and economic decision makers ensure we do not leave our children to an insecure future.

Earth League scientists back global climate protests - Read More…

Edenhofer speaks at CDU and CSU events

Edenhofer speaks at CDU and CSU events

09/09/2019 - The two sister Parties of the German conservatives are seeking the expertise of climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. Prior to the Federal Government's decision on the possible introduction of a national CO2 pricing, Edenhofer was invited as an expert to several events by CDU and CSU, just as he had already presented the state of research to other Parties, ministries and associations. Edenhofer with his team from PIK and MCC has contributed the climatic-economic part of the report on CO2 pricing by the German Council of Economic Experts.

Edenhofer speaks at CDU and CSU events - Read More…

Gunnar Luderer appointed Professor for Global Energy Systems Analysis at TU Berlin

Gunnar Luderer appointed Professor for Global Energy Systems Analysis at TU Berlin

02/09/2019 - Dr Gunnar Luderer, doctor of physics and atmospheric scientist, has been appointed to the newly created Chair of Global Energy Systems Analysis at the Technical University of Berlin. The chair is jointly funded by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Institute for Energy Technology at the Technical University of Berlin. Prof Luderer will work primarily in the field of energy system transformation and the worldwide transformation towards sustainable energy systems.

Gunnar Luderer appointed Professor for Global Energy Systems Analysis at TU Berlin - Read More…

Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

26/08/2019 - The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. While significant progress is being made on some goals, no country is currently on track towards achieving all SDGs. PIK Director Johan Rockström contributed to a paper published now in Nature Sustainability, outlining six major transformations that will be required to achieve these ambitious goals. Led by the United Nations Sustainable Development Network (UNSDSN), the research will be an input to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Climate Summit on September 23 and 24 in New York City. Rockström will be a speaker at a number of events.

Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals - Read More…

Indian monsoon forecast: early warning for risk of flooding in October

Indian monsoon forecast: early warning for risk of flooding in October

The Indian Summer Monsoon is likely to withdraw from the Central part of India between 14th and 24th October 2019. The unique forecast, made for 70 days in advance, is the only available long-term forecast in India. Elena Surovyatkina, climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, leads the forecasts that showed to be successful already three years in a row. The monsoon withdrawal date is of crucial importance for billion of people in India. In a warming world, severe storms and floods during monsoon retreat are becoming more frequent. Such a long-term forecast could help Government to do strategic planning, consolidate resources, and strengthen capacity to respond effectively to disasters.

Indian monsoon forecast: early warning for risk of flooding in October - Read More…

Looking beyond the farm gate: New IPCC Special Report on Land Use and Climate Change

Looking beyond the farm gate: New IPCC Special Report on Land Use and Climate Change

08/08/2019 – Almost three quarters of habitable land on earth are under human use – resulting in substantial impacts on our climate, a new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows. Today, almost a quarter of human-made greenhouse gas emissions arise from agriculture, forestry and other land use. The latest IPCC Special Report investigates the current situation, possible future scenarios and potential solutions on how we can use land to feed ourselves, fuel economic growth and limit climate change risks. Two Potsdam scientists figure as lead authors of the chapter on food security and on the relations between land and climate.

Looking beyond the farm gate: New IPCC Special Report on Land Use and Climate Change - Read More…

“New Market Design is needed”: lessons to learn from renewable energy regulation in California and Germany

“New Market Design is needed”: lessons to learn from renewable energy regulation in California and Germany

09.07.2019 - Important lessons can be learned from the two global frontrunners in the energy transition, Germany and California, a new report shows. Being the 4th biggest and 5th biggest economies worldwide, both jurisdictions draw more than 30 percent of their electricity from wind and solar and biomass, both have ambitious renewables targets of 80 and 100 percent by mid-century. An international team of scientists from Germany and the US now analyzed Californian and German policy pathways to draw conclusions for the way ahead. They find that market and renewable policy design adjustments in both jurisdictions to integrate the first 30 percent were small compared to the adjustments needed to integrate the second 30 percent. Importantly, strengthening CO2-pricing and policies to foster electrification must be an integral part of this.

“New Market Design is needed”: lessons to learn from renewable energy regulation in California and Germany - Read More…

Environment Council presents new special report on the legimitimacy of environmental policy

Environment Council presents new special report on the legimitimacy of environmental policy

27.06.2019 - In its new special report, the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) discusses the legitimacy of environmental policy and proposes institutional developments for policy and administration. The 300-page paper is entitled "Democratic governance within ecological boundaries - on the legimitation of environmental policy". Against the background of long-term and systemic environmental problems, the members explain how a the state is not only legitimised to act but also obliged, to preserve people's livelihoods. The report was presented to Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze in Berlin.

Environment Council presents new special report on the legimitimacy of environmental policy - Read More…

Strengthening climate protection "bottom up": Municipal workshop at PIK

Strengthening climate protection "bottom up": Municipal workshop at PIK

27.06.2019 - Mayors and other representatives of municipalities and counties in Germany meet this week in Potsdam to discuss how climate protection can be strengthened "bottom up". Organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the two-day "KliB-up Municipal Workshop" will focus on a climate friendly everyday lifes and the involvement of citizens in active municipal climate protection. Many municipalities and rural districts have been active in this field for years and have set themselves ambitious climate targets, such as the so-called master plan municipalities in Germany. These targets can hardly be achieved without the commitment of private households. How a climate friendly everyday life could look like in practice, more than 100 households in Berlin recently already tested that in the context of the PIK living lab "Klimaneutral leben in Berlin" (KliB). As a result, the participating households were about 33 percent below the German average at the end of the one-year project.

Strengthening climate protection "bottom up": Municipal workshop at PIK - Read More…

Breaking the rules: Monsoon and climate change

Breaking the rules: Monsoon and climate change

26.06.2019 - With global warming the Monsoon is changing, breaking well-established “rules” of the phenomenon, becoming more and more erratic and unpredictable. Close to half of the global population depends on monsoon rainfall. For the fourth year in a row, Elena Surovyatkina from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) successfully predicted the onset of the Indian Summer Monsoon in the central part of India more than a month in advance with a new forecast method. This method accounts for climate change effects and hence makes forecasting possible.

Breaking the rules: Monsoon and climate change - Read More…

"Heat waves are on the rise": PIK statement

"Heat waves are on the rise": PIK statement

24/06/2019 - Germany likely faces a heat wave this week. In which way is this releated to human-caused climate change?

"Heat waves are on the rise": PIK statement - Read More…

37th German Protestant Kirchentag with Rockström and Schellnhuber

37th German Protestant Kirchentag with Rockström and Schellnhuber

21/06/2019 - With an acting director and the director Emeritus speaking, the Potsdam Institute was prominently represented at the 37th Protestant Church Congress in Dortmund. Director Rockström discussed the global challenges in the fields of environment, climate and justice with the Chair of the Council of the Protestand Church of Germany, Bedford-Strohm, the doctor and cabaret artist Eckart von Hirschhausen and the climate activist Luisa Neubauer. Schellnhuber spoke at an event with Federal Environment Minister Schulze on the subject of coal phasing out. The Kirchentag is the most important outreach event of the Protestant Church in Germany, with over 2400 events and more than 100,000 visitors.

37th German Protestant Kirchentag with Rockström and Schellnhuber - Read More…

A game-changing gathering in the Vatican? Big oil and big finance agree on carbon-risk disclosure and CO2 pricing

A game-changing gathering in the Vatican? Big oil and big finance agree on carbon-risk disclosure and CO2 pricing

20.06.2019 - Big Oil and Big Finance, convened by the Pontifical Academy of Science (PAS) for a dialogue on “The Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home”, agreed to join the efforts of science and society to contain the climate crisis. Pope Francis himself joined the distinguished meeting to address the high-ranking business representatives, referring to his papal Encyclical “Laudato Si” which contributed substantially to achieving the groundbreaking 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. John Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and member of PAS, was the only climate scientist invited to the dialogue. He gave the opening lecture and played a crucial role in the making of the declarations signed by almost all participants.

A game-changing gathering in the Vatican? Big oil and big finance agree on carbon-risk disclosure and CO2 pricing - Read More…

CO2-pricing: German chancellor Angela Merkel visited PIK for a scientific briefing

CO2-pricing: German chancellor Angela Merkel visited PIK for a scientific briefing

14/06/2019 - For more than two hours, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) last Thursday, June 13th, to discuss climate change and climate policy with Director Ottmar Edenhofer and other researchers. A special focus of the meeting lay on options for an effective and fair CO2 pricing. Besides Mrs Merkel, Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor, Helge Braun, spokesman State Secretary Steffen Seibert and experts from the Chancellery also took part. A good two dozen researchers from all research departments at PIK were involved in the round table discussion taking place the Great Cupola of PIK's historic Michelson building and presented research results on climate risks and possible solutions for the climate crisis.

CO2-pricing: German chancellor Angela Merkel visited PIK for a scientific briefing - Read More…

First conference for research software in Germany

First conference for research software in Germany

11/06/2019 - After the success of the first three international conferences of Research Software Engineers (RSEs) in Great Britain, the first conference in Germany on the topic of research software took place from 4 to 6 June 2019 in the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam. Research Software Engineers (RSEs) are people who develop research software, regardless of their job title and degree. Some 200 attendees from Germany and other parts of Europe took part in the fully booked conference: a broad mix of researchers from various fields, experts in software funding and financing, developers and software service providers. Organizers were Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI) - Fachbereich Softwaretechnik (SWT), de-RSE e.V. - Gesellschaft für Forschungssoftware, the Potsdam Research Centre of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

First conference for research software in Germany - Read More…

Lucht at meeting of all CDU/CSU parliamentary group leaders

Lucht at meeting of all CDU/CSU parliamentary group leaders

06/04/2019 - The German conservative party CDU/CSU is re-thinking climate policy. The elected representatives invited experts Wolfgang Lucht from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Patrick Graichen from the Agora Energiewende to the two-day conference of all parliamentary group chairmen - from the state parliaments in the German "Länder" to the federal level in the Bundestag and the European Parliament - this week in Weimar. They discussed risks of human-made global warming, from extreme weather events to changing our landscapes, as well as the possibilities for an effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The conference was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder.

Lucht at meeting of all CDU/CSU parliamentary group leaders - Read More…

Climate protection and peace are two sides of the same coin: Berlin Climate and Security Conference

Climate protection and peace are two sides of the same coin: Berlin Climate and Security Conference

04/06/2019 –Climate change knows no borders, and climate crises can affect security, ranging from food security and displacement to an increasing number of natural disasters. Indeed, a destabilised Earth system can make peace harder to achieve and sustain, and may even be a contributing factor to new violent conflicts. This makes our climate a foreign policy issue. In cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office and the think tank adelphi, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has initiated the Berlin Climate and Security Conference to provide a forum for this rising issue. The summit will gather support for the “Berlin Call for Action”, directed at every foreign policy institution to step up efforts to address one of the greatest global security and foreign policy challenges of the 21st century: Climate change.

Climate protection and peace are two sides of the same coin: Berlin Climate and Security Conference - Read More…

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