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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...

"This decision marks the end of the American century" - PIK and the Trump effect

"This decision marks the end of the American century" - PIK and the Trump effect

06/09/2017 - Last week US President Donald Trump has announced that he will leave the Paris climate agreement. This step not only triggered a wave of indignation around the world, but also led to a media rush on the scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. They were able to assess the decision and the importance of the Paris agreement for climate protection.

"This decision marks the end of the American century" - PIK and the Trump effect - Read More…

Schellnhuber on Trump: "Hiding in the trenches of the past instead of building the future"

Schellnhuber on Trump: "Hiding in the trenches of the past instead of building the future"

US President Trump announced that he wants to leave the Paris Climate Agreement. "It will not substantially hamper global climate progress if the USA quit the Paris Agreement, but it will hurt the American economy and society alike," comments Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, member of the Advisory Council on Global Change for the German government, and chair of the High Level Panel on Decarbonisation Pathways for the European Commission. China and Europe have become world leaders on the path towards green development already and will strengthen their position if the US slips back at the national level. Innovative states such as California, the world's sixth largest economy, will keep going for climate action, however. The Washington people around Trump hide in the trenches of the past instead of building the future. They fail to recognize that the climate wars are over, while the race for sustainable prosperity is on."

Schellnhuber on Trump: "Hiding in the trenches of the past instead of building the future" - Read More…

Fires, storms, insects: climate change increases risks for forests worldwide

Fires, storms, insects: climate change increases risks for forests worldwide

05/31/2017 - Droughts, fires and wind as well as insects and fungal attacks: all of them result in stress for the forests of the Earth – and they are all influenced by climate change. About a third of worldwide land surface is covered by forests, but knowledge about how disruptive factors that affect them interact with one another in the context of global climate change is still lacking, as these are often analyzed separately and on a local scale. Now for the first time, an international team of scientists has comprehensively examined possible climate impacts on disturbances in forests. The team did this on a basis of more than 600 research papers of the last 30 years. Published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, their results show that increasing risks for forests have to be expected in the future.

Fires, storms, insects: climate change increases risks for forests worldwide - Read More…

Carbon Pricing Report launched by leading economists

Carbon Pricing Report launched by leading economists

05/29/2017 - Meeting the world’s agreed climate goals in the most cost-effective way while fostering growth requires countries to set a strong carbon price. That’s the key conclusion of the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices, presented in a major report today in Berlin by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University, New York) and Nicholas Stern (London School of Economics), along with commission members Mari Pangestu (Former Minister of Trade, Indonesia, today at Columbia University) and Ottmar Edenhofer (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research). The commission of 13 eminent economists from around the world has identified the range of prices on carbon needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s climate stabilization goal. According to the scientists, the ambition should be reaching $40-$80 per tonne of CO2 by 2020 and $50-100 per tonne by 2030.

Carbon Pricing Report launched by leading economists - Read More…

IPCC-chair and UN climate chief debate with Latin American ambassadors

IPCC-chair and UN climate chief debate with Latin American ambassadors

05/18/2017 - To debate climate risks and options for action, the highest-ranking representatives of both climate science and climate policy met with ambassadors from Latin America at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact (PIK) today. Hoesung-Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), attended a conference for which PIK provided most of the scientific input. Despite the wide range of perspectives on the subject, all participants agreed that tackling climate change is a common responsibility.

IPCC-chair and UN climate chief debate with Latin American ambassadors - Read More…

Climate stabilization: Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions

Climate stabilization: Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions

05/18/2017 - Growing plants and then storing the CO2 they have taken up from the atmosphere is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning, a new study shows. The plantations would need to be so large, they would eliminate most natural ecosystems or reduce food production if implemented as a late-regret option in the case of substantial failure to reduce emissions. However, growing biomass soon in well-selected places with increased irrigation or fertilization could support climate policies of rapid and strong emission cuts to achieve climate stabilization below 2 degrees Celsius.

Climate stabilization: Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions - Read More…

Networking and training: PhD-Day at PIK

Networking and training: PhD-Day at PIK

05/10/2017 - A whole day to get together, share experiences and train in different science related fields: The doctoral candidates of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research met for a conference recently to discuss their work and compare notes with each other on their theses. Next to new PhD candidates that introduced their work to their colleagues, the day focused on several inputs on topics like communication, time management, slide writing and presentation techniques. There are currently 73 young researchers from 18 countries working on their PhDs across all four PIK research domains.

Networking and training: PhD-Day at PIK - Read More…

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