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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...

PIK ranked among top five climate think tanks worldwide

PIK ranked among top five climate think tanks worldwide

07/05/2017 - The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was again ranked among the best climate think tanks worldwide. The new Climate Think Tank Ranking by the International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG) places PIK among the top five climate think tanks globally and among the top three of climate thinks tanks in Europe. Altogether the ranking considers 240 cutting-edge institutions working in the field of climate change economics and policy. Based on a solid quantitative methodology and analytical data, the ICCG lists non-university affiliated think tanks in an absolute and a standardized ranking – the first measures the think tank’s efficiency in per capita/researcher terms, whilst the latter measures performance regardless of their efficiency and hence size.

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Why Climate Policy matters for the G20 finance ministers’ agenda

Why Climate Policy matters for the G20 finance ministers’ agenda

06/30/2017 - In order to stay below the 2 °C guardrail set in the Paris Agreement, climate policy should be integrated with the G20 finance ministers’ agenda. Finance ministers should consider the merits of carbon pricing for sound fiscal policy and thereby stimulate investments in carbon-free infrastructure. “It is rational for G20 finance ministers to embrace climate policy, even if climate change is not their primary concern,” writes a team of authors led by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in an article published in the new issue of the journal Nature Climate Change. In their article “Aligning climate policy with finance ministers’ G20 agenda”, Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Director of MCC, together with MCC Secretary General Brigitte Knopf and colleagues from other institutions argue that investments in fossil fuels have become more risky in the post-Paris world.

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Dinosaurs, a climate archive and a time machine - full commitment for the "smartest night"

Dinosaurs, a climate archive and a time machine - full commitment for the "smartest night"

06/29/2017 - Everything was just right: a mild summer evening, thousands of guests and open doors to architectural beauties, which gave insig hts into the results and methods of top research. At the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), visitors to the Long Night of Sciences were able to learn about climate change through guided tours, lectures and discussions with experts.

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Turning the Climate Tide by 2020

Turning the Climate Tide by 2020

06/28/2017 - The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate bending-down of the global greenhouse-gas emissions curve, leading experts caution. Aggressive reduction of fossil-fuel usage is the key to averting devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise, the authors argue in a comment published in the renowned scientific journal Nature this week. In the run-up to the G20 summit of the planet’s leading economies, the article sets six milestones for a clean industrial revolution. This call for strong short-term measures complements the longer-term 'carbon law' approach introduced earlier this year by some of the current co-authors, including the Potsdam Institute’s Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, in the equally eminent journal Science. Thus a full narrative of deep decarbonization emerges.

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Physical Society of Berlin honors Ricarda Winkelmann

Physical Society of Berlin honors Ricarda Winkelmann

06/28/2017 – Ricarda Winkelmann received the Karl-Scheel-Preis 2017, the most important prize of the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin (Physical Society of Berlin). Since 1958, the award is given annually to young scientists in the first years after their doctoral graduation for outstanding achievements. Winkelmann is honored for her excellent scientific work on the impacts of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheet and the global sea-level rise.

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Blue Planet Prize awarded to Potsdam climate scientist Schellnhuber

Blue Planet Prize awarded to Potsdam climate scientist Schellnhuber

06/14/2017 - The world's most important award for pioneers in sustainability research will be given to the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. This has been announced today in Tokyo by the Asahi Glass Foundation. The Blue Planet Prize of 50 million Yen honours thinkers and doers for major contributions to solving global environmental problems. Schellnhuber receives the award for establishing the 2 degrees Celsius guardrail of global warming agreed by the governments of all countries at the UN climate summit in Paris. Furthermore, the physicist Schellnhuber shaped the science of Earth System Analysis and developed the most influential concept of tipping elements.

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Dynamics in power systems: from science to industry

Dynamics in power systems: from science to industry

06/12/2017 - Power grids face new challenges due to climate change. While global warming from fossil fuel emissions forces us to replace coal plants by energy input from clean sources such as solar and wind, the latter are more variable and hence not easy to integrate. A meeting of experts from both science and industry at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) now aims at transferring findings from mathematical research on grid stability to the practioners.

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