A Black Future for Coal

King Coal – as the most widespread and cheapest fossil energy source is often called – is entering a crucial, maybe definitive, phase. Indeed, worldwide coal consumption has decreased significantly in recent years due to a growing hostility to the generation of electricity using unsustainable coal. This global opposition comes from several different sources: political,...
Continue reading...

The Theory and Practice of Disaster Risk Reduction: Q&A with Nina Köksalan

The second international Potsdam Summer School drew to a close on 23 September. Over 10 days, 40 participants from various fields and 28 different countries discussed this year’s Summer School theme, “Facing Natural Hazards”, with renowned scientists from Potsdam-based research institutes and international experts. One of those participants was Nina Köksalan. Nina studied geography, art...
Continue reading...

Sustainable Development Goals Must Recognise the Importance of Soils

In recent years research towards sustainable land policy has become a central pillar of the work undertaken at the IASS. Transdisciplinary projects with our partners from academia, society and politics have generated knowledge that can drive the transformation to sustainable land management. Our soils are not in good shape: according to conservative estimates, 24 million...
Continue reading...

“Many Causes of Natural Disasters are Political and Social”: Q&A with David Alexander

The growing world population, climate change, rapid urbanisation, and the international interdependence of economies are all increasing our vulnerability to natural hazards. Such major global challenges are the focus of the second international Potsdam Summer School on “Facing Natural Hazards”, which is taking place from 14 to 23 September. One of the most well-known researchers...
Continue reading...

Pro-poor Adaptation in Practice

In the past few years, there has been a growing consensus that climate change adaptation is a multi-faceted challenge; it cannot be addressed by simple solutions. The terms ‘integrated’, ‘multi-scalar’ and ‘comprehensive’ have all been used to describe the kind of measures required, with the underlying message to keep it complex! All right, we got...
Continue reading...

German Involvement in the Arctic: Policy Issues and Scientific Research

When the German Foreign Office asked me in March whether I would like to become a member of the Working Group on Sustainable Arctic Development in the German Observer Delegation of the Arctic Council, of course I did not hesitate. What a splendid opportunity for an Arctic scholar to experience Arctic governance first-hand! Even better,...
Continue reading...

The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris: Q&A with Rómulo Acurio Traverso

Rómulo Fernando Acurio Traverso is the Deputy Representative of Peru for Climate Change. In this function, he played a central role in the previous United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conferences and is currently preparing the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris this year, where 96 countries will come together to...
Continue reading...

Climate Change and the Imagination: Q&A with Manjana Milkoreit

The IASS recently hosted a presentation titled Imagination in World Politics – Climate Change, the Mind and the Future by Manjana Milkoreit, a postdoctoral fellow at Arizona State University. In a ‘flash fiction’ exercise after the talk, participants collectively developed very short fictional stories about the future, in which climate change impacts have become a...
Continue reading...

Germany and Brazil – Two Very Different Pioneers of Renewable Energies

This August, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and other ministers will travel to Brazil for intergovernmental consultations. They should seize this opportunity to breathe new life into cooperation on renewables under the German-Brazilian energy partnership. Closer cooperation with Brazil – a country that has been an important frontrunner of the global expansion of...
Continue reading...