Planned Commission Masks Bad Leadership

Header image: Lignite mining in Brandenburg. istock/delectus

Major societal reforms call for strong political leadership, viable ideas, and political majorities. Yet in the implementation of Germany’s Energiewende, the centrepiece of efforts to achieve its climate protection goals, alarm bells are sounding in all three areas, notes Daniela Setton. The results of exploratory talks to form a new ‘grand coalition’ between the conservative...
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Talanoa as Expectation Management – or Raising the Bar while Jumping

Fijian Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khayium during a Talanoa at COP23. © BMUB/ Christian Büchter

Both sustainability ambitions and obstacles are growing exponentially. This begs for the kind of expectation management arguably performed by the IASS Potsdam and other organizations, for instance the Future Earth network. In addressing the advisory role of science in sustainability, Future Earth is building advisory capacities and raising expectations at the same time. These expectations...
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The Role of Germany in the Future of Renewable Energies

Germany is widely regarded as an international frontrunner in the global energy transition. Efforts to promote renewable energy have played a key role in lowering the cost of wind and solar power and contributed significantly to the growth of these technologies around the world. Germany’s energy transition policy is held up as a model abroad...
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On the culture of untapped potential

Der UNESCO-Pavillion

Last week I attended the UN Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn. After having hosted an interactive side-event at the intersessional negotiation in May 2017, this was my first visit to an annual UNFCCC COP. I attended the conference without any concrete expectations and was mainly interested in observing the communication and working culture at...
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The Myth of “Stranded Assets” in Climate Protection

Ever since Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, spoke in 2015 before Lloyd’s of London about climate change, the future of the energy industries, and financial stability, finance ministers and central bank governors around the world have underscored climate protection’s systemic threat to the world’s financial system. They worry aloud about the...
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Ways forward for Loss and Damage: An interview with Saleemul Huq

Dr Saleemul Huq is Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh and has participated in the international climate negotiations since their inception in 1992. His current work focuses on the engagement of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He conducts research...
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Building transatlantic common ground in combating global warming

As the world gathered in Bonn for its twenty-third Conference of the Parties (COP23), the newly published Emissions Gap Report 2017 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) helped to underline the mantra of the conference: all countries need to raise their climate protection efforts quickly and substantially. The report shows that even if fully...
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Stop the blame game: Russia is waking up to climate change

During my last visit to Russia I was watching Russian TV – an awful source of propaganda and misinformation, according to many. To my surprise, one of the federal (i.e. government-controlled) channels was reporting about climate change in a primetime slot. To my further surprise, the program didn’t rehash the usual conspiracy theories about what...
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No More Perks for Diesel

To improve air quality in the long term diesel vehicles must be subject to the same emissions standards as other vehicles and the tax advantages that diesel enjoys must be abolished. At the recent ‘Diesel Summit’ in Berlin, politicians, car manufacturers and others met to discuss possible ways out of the current diesel mess. The...
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Can Russia imagine a post-fossil fuel future?

No post-fossil future is imagined for Russia, least of all by the Russians. The kleptocrats flee the country and stash their bounty in safe havens, countries with confidential banking, enough rule of law to avoid the confiscation of their spoils, and pliable politicians to provide protection. The export of capital and the purchase of expensive...
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