01/23/2017 - Some of the most distinguished international climate experts are gathering in Potsdam this week for a symposium of the Earth League, a self-organized initiative of leading researchers on global change. During two days, they will discuss how the Great Transformation towards sustainability can be brought about. The success of the Paris climate agreement aiming at completely decarbonizing our economies within a few decades is by no means ensured; fulfilling its objectives requires a ratcheting-up of ambitions through social, political and economic progress.
01/20/2017 - Today, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as 45th President of the United States. "His populism as a business model will not prove viable in the long term," comments Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), Professor at Technische Universität Berlin.
16/12/2016 - The holiday season is in full swing and many enjoy the opportunity to feast – or to make new year resolutions for a healthier diet. What we eat is more than a private decision – the agriculture and land use sector is one of the central players in ambitious climate change mitigation efforts. Yet, mitigation policies in agriculture may conflict with food security. A team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research analyzed the impacts on food prices under mitigation policies – targeting either incentives for producers or consumer preferences. They show that policy instruments to mitigate climate change with an educational approach to change food preferences can avoid unwanted impacts of climate change mitigation measures on food security.
Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), speaks at the distinguished Tanner Lecture at Princeton University. Free and open to the public, the Tanner Lectures On Human Values are conducted by leaders of their field. The lectures are considered to be among the most renowned lecture series in the United States, presented annually at each of nine renowned universities including Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, Utah, Yale, and the University of California, Berkeley.
2016/11/28 – Max Franks from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) was honoured with the Potsdam Young Scientist Award. Mayor Jann Jakobs handed the prize to Franks at the Einstein Day of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in appreciation of his outstanding achievements in the field of economic sciences.
11/09/2016 - Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are attending the current UN climate summit COP22 in Marrakesch from November 7 to 18. Amongst other events, PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber will speak at a side-event of the German Advisory Council on Global Change on the science-policy dialogue to reach Paris targets. PIK chief economist Ottmar Edenhofer will discuss the potential of the Paris Agreement in a side event with colleagues from Arizona State University, Harvard Kennedy School and others.
10/24/2016 - To meet the climate stabilization targets of the Paris Agreement, the greenhouse gas emission reduction plans so far presented by nations worldwide have to be substantially improved. While renewables can almost fully decarbonize the power sector, aiming at a 1.5 degrees Celsius limit for global warming would require major additional efforts to also reduce emissions from demand sectors, for instance through a shift to electric and hydrogen vehicles. These are just some of the findings presented at the final meeting of the ADVANCE project this Monday in Brussels. The Acronym stands for “Advanced Model Development and Validation for Improved Analysis of Costs and Impacts of Mitigation policies”, an unprecedented research effort funded by the European Union.
09/30/2016 - Volkswagen appointed a sustainability council - one of the members is Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The new body will meet for the first time at the end of October in Berlin. VW is selling more cars than any other corporation worldwide. The company is currently under pressure because of manipulations of diesel engines' emission measurements.
09/06/2016 - In a ranking of Germany’s “most influential economists”, Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, was placed amongst the top researchers in the field. The grouping published by the renowned daily ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’ (FAZ) is based on data on the scientific, political and media impact of the individual researchers. Edenhofer, who also directs the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change and is a Professor at Technische Universität Berlin, is the only economist with a focus on climate who scored this high in the ranking.
09/02/2016 - An unusual alliance of business, science and an environmental organization is urging the major economies meeting as G20 this weekend in Hanghzou, China, to push CO2 pricing. The Federation of German Industries (BDI), Germanwatch and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) led by Ottmar Edenhofer - chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - published a joint proposal in the german weekly ‘Die Zeit’. Pricing greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels is key to achieve the climate stabilization goals set forth in the Paris Agreement, the authors argue. It should both set incentives for CO2 reductions and create more predictability for planning, the authors argue. In the same time, the instrument could raise much-needed revenues for infrastructure investments. The initiative comes ahead of the announcement of the agenda of Germany’s G20 Presidency to commence in December.
06/10/2016 - Reducing energy imports and mitigating climate change are often portrayed as complementary. However, new research published in the journal Nature Energy shows that while ambitious climate policies would lower energy imports, energy independence would not bring significant climate benefits. Co-benefits of climate policies are of key importance for decision-makers choices, the authors highlight.
06/01/2016 – More than 1000 people attended the 2016 Mercator Climate Lecture "The World in 2050 - Towards Sustainable Development and Deep Decarbonization" in Berlin on Wednesday. Top US-economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor on Sustainable Development for the United Nations, gave a much-applauded keynote. This was followed by an intense discussion with Ottmar Edenhofer, Chief Economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor at Technische Universität (TU) Berlin. The lecture is a joint project by Stiftung Mercator, Technische Universität Berlin, and PIK. The spectators in the Auditorium Maximum - in fact a mix of students and experts from business, politics, NGO and science – was joined by a worldwide audience following the event via livestream.
Young scientist from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) discussed their working routines and career perspectives with regard to their doctorate. Once a year the “PhD-Day” offers the opportunity to meet up in the whole group of PhD candidates to share experiences, talk about research projects and train in science related skills. The focus of the current meeting was on possible career steps following the doctoral thesis.
01/27/2016 - The president of Leibniz Association, Matthias Kleiner, visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for an exchange on current projects and developments. Among other topics the focus of the meetings was also on research strategies. Kleiner met with PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber as well as with the Chairs of PIK’s four research domains.
2016/01/25 - The newly elected top German scientist in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Hans-Otto Pörtner, visited the Potsdam Institute (PIK) this week for an intense exchange about challenges of the next climate science assessment report. It will be the sixth of its kind and due in 2022. Pörtner, a senior biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, heads the part of the report assessing climate change impacts. This is a core research issue of PIK. What is more, for half a decade PIK’s chief economist was head of the IPCC’s working group on mitigation.
12/14/2015 - 195 states worldwide adopted a breakthrough climate agreement at the UN climate summit in Paris, COP21. Leading scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research actively participated in the historic meeting that put the world on the path to limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and bring down greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero within a few decades. While implementing the treaty will be an enormous challenge, for the first time ever climate stabilization and hence limiting climate risks including weather extremes and sea-level rise comes into reach. It is the beginning, not the end, of a process that now requires rapid implementation strong policy instruments that live up to the aspirations of the agreement.
11/16/2015 - In the run-up of the much anticipated UN climate summit in Paris, scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are involved in an unprecedented number of briefings and public events. In this crucial time, stakeholders and media increasingly ask for the perspective of science on the state of the Earth and perspectives for climate policy. Yet PIK scientists also try to directly inform interested citizens. It is impossible to provide a complete list of all such outreach efforts, but here are some noteworthy examples.
11/16/2015 - Economists and scientists this week come from all over the world to Potsdam for the annual meeting of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC). In the run-up of the UN climate summit in Paris, one focus of the experts’ discussions will be the greenhouse gas emission reduction pledges of governments, the so-called INDCs. To assess their real-world effects is crucial for mapping out policy options for and beyond the summit. Other issues to be debated include the modeling of climate impacts and sustainable development implications, the use of scenarios and the evaluation of model analysis.
10.11.2015 - A global price target for CO2 might be a more sensible objective for the COP21 Climate Conference instead of the currently discussed emission volume targets. This is what Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, is stating together with the renowned economic researcher Axel Ockenfels from Cologne, in a major guest article in the influential German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung only weeks before the much awaited UN climate conference in Paris. Such a price could provide incentives to invest in alternative technologies and to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
09/17/2015 - The window of opportunity for a global fossil fuel phase out is closing faster than expected. In particular poor but fast-growing developing countries are currently investing heavily in the construction of new coal power plants. However, one reason why this source of fuel is so cheap is that its price does not incorporate the social costs, such as health. This is the topic of the article “King Coal and the Queen of Subsidies” by Ottmar Edenhofer, chief-economist at the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research and Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), now published in the journal Science.