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SPECIAL: Coal phase-out: Announcing CO2-pricing triggers divestment

Photo Schellnhuber presents 10 Must-Knows on Climate at COP23Putting the Paris climate agreement into practice will trigger opposed reactions by investors on the one hand and fossil fuel owners on the other hand. It has been feared that the anticipation of strong CO2 reduction policies might – a ‘green paradox’ – drive up these emissions: before the regulations kick in, fossil fuel owners might accelerate their resource extraction to maximize profits. Yet at the same time, investors might stop putting their money into coal power plants as they can expect their assets to become stranded. Now for the first time a study investigates both effects that to date have been discussed only separately. On balance, divestment beats the green paradox if substantial carbon pricing is credibly announced, a team of energy economists finds. Consequently, overall CO2 emissions would be effectively reduced. Read more...

“The Great Urban Transformation“: Nobel Laureates call on cities to tackle sustainability challenge

“The Great Urban Transformation“: Nobel Laureates call on cities to tackle sustainability challenge

04/25/2015 - Cities around the globe need to re-invent themselves if they want to be a safe home for generations to come. Nobel Laureates call upon cities to tackle the dual challenge of population growth and climate change and seize the opportunity to lead the transition to sustainability. National and internationally agreed greenhouse-gas reduction targets need to guide and support local action. The distinguished scientists signed a memorandum this week in Hong Kong at the end of the three-day Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability, convened for the first time in Asia. The Symposium was co-hosted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center.

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Girls' Day: students learn about career opportunities in science

Girls' Day: students learn about career opportunities in science

04/24/2015 - Students from Berlin and Brandenburg visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research on “Girls’ Day”. The day offers opportunities for young girls to find out about professions in the natural sciences, skilled crafts and trades, technology and information technologies and learn about alternative career opportunities.

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“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 - Nobel Laureates across the world and across disciplines this week are gathering in Hong Kong to elevate the debate on climate change to a new level and to feed into the world climate summit in Paris later this year. For the first time, the Nobel Laureates are meeting in Asia for the symposium, “4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities”. Cities are key to addressing the challenge of climate change which, if unabated, might result in a 4°C rise in mean temperature by the end of this century. Participants of the symposium include Nobel Prize winners Yuan T. Lee (Chemistry, 1986) from Taiwan, Brian Schmidt (Physics, 2011) from Australia, and James A. Mirrlees from the United Kingdom (Economics, 2006), complemented by international renowned experts such as K.S. Wong, Secretary for the Environment, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Aromar Revi of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements.

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Earth Day: Leading climate scientists publish essential elements for a global climate agreement

Earth Day: Leading climate scientists publish essential elements for a global climate agreement

04/22/2015 - The Earth League, an international alliance of prominent climate scientists, outlined the elements of a global climate agreement in a stark statement published today, coinciding with Earth Day. Written by 17 world-leading scientists, among them PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, their statement clarifies in eight essential elements, what an international climate agreement in line with the 2 degree target should achieve in Paris in December. Bold action by decision-makers is required now to pave the way for a successful international agreement to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change, the Earth League members say.

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A narration of hope: Sebastião Salgado in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

A narration of hope: Sebastião Salgado in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

20/04/2015 - From nature photography to climate research: The renowned French-Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado met with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, last weekend in Berlin. Following the opening of Salgado’s exhibition “Genesis”, hosted by C/O Berlin, they came together for a public discussion on Saturday at Delphi film palace.

A narration of hope: Sebastião Salgado in discussion with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - Read More…

Panel Discussion on Climate Justice in Berlin

Panel Discussion on Climate Justice in Berlin

17/04/2015 - In collaboration with the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice (MRFCJ) the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) organized a public event in Berlin this week: Members of the Climate Justice Dialogue, including former Irish President Mary Robinson and PIK’s director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, discussed in two interactive panels how vulnerable regions of the world are already undermined by climate change and what opportunities 2015 holds to counteract this development. “Protecting Human Rights in the Face of Climate Change” was the theme of the first panel while the second discussion focused on the requirements for a fair and sustainable shift to a zero carbon, climate-safe economy. The well attended event was hosted by Humboldt University Berlin.

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Climate change in Antarctica: Natural temperature variability underestimated - Cold spell superimposes man-made warming

Climate change in Antarctica: Natural temperature variability underestimated - Cold spell superimposes man-made warming

04/16/2015 - The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the tipping elements in the climate system and hence of vital importance for our planet’s future under man-made climate change. Even a partial melting of the enormous ice masses of Antarctica would raise sea-levels substantially. Therefore it is of utmost importance to provide sound knowledge on the extent of anthropogenic warming of the ice-covered continent. A new analysis by German physicists shows that the uncertainties in the temperature trends over Antarctica are larger than previously estimated. “So far it seemed there were hardly any major natural temperature fluctuations in Antarctica, so almost every rise in temperature was attributed to human influence,” says Armin Bunde of Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (JLU). “Global warming as a result of our greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels is a fact. However, the human influence on the warming of West Antarctica is much smaller than previously thought. The warming of East Antarctica up to now can even be explained by natural variability alone.” The results of their study are now published in the journal Climate Dynamics.

Climate change in Antarctica: Natural temperature variability underestimated - Cold spell superimposes man-made warming - Read More…

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