The Impact of Climate Change

The Earth's climate has changed throughout history, but what we see in the last decades is uncomparable to any development before. In mid-2012 the athmospheric carbon level excessed for the first time 400 CO2 parts per mio. "Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal", says Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling: I.e. Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The surface temperature analysis shows that Earth has warmed since 1880, with the 10 warmest years having occurred in the past 12 years. Extreme events increase. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were only ion he US a record twelve weather disasters costing more than $1 billion in 2011. The strategies to meet this are mitigation – that means reduction and prevention of greenhouse gases output - and adaptation – that means measures to adapt to the inevitable global warming.



Der Klimagipfel in Durban im Dezember 2011 hat wieder keinen entscheidenden Durchbruch für den Klimaschutz gebracht. Gleichzeitig steigt der weltweite Ausstoß von Kohlendioxid trotz Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise weiter an. Selbst Optimisten sind mittlerweile skeptisch, ob der Anstieg der globalen Durchschnittstemperatur noch auf zwei Grad begrenzt werden kann. Diese Schwelle gilt Experten als gerade noch kalkulierbar.

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Die Energiewende ist eines der zentralen Reformprojekte Deutschlands. Im Mittelpunkt stehen die Förderung von Erneuerbaren Energien und die Steigerung der Energieeffizienz. Der Klimawandel soll damit eingedämmt und die Green Economy vorangebracht werden. Es gibt aber auch einige Reibungspunkte.

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Renewable Energy and the Energy Transition

The world is driven by fossil fuels like oil and gas. This has some negative repercussions: Rising energy prices due to decreasing deposits, dependence on unstable oil and gas producing regimes and global warming. It becomes clear, that a revolution in the way how we produce and use energy is necessary. Central to this energy transition are new technologies, which produce energy from renewable sources such as wind or sun.

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The De-Carb Diet

By Dr. Elmer Lenzen

To comply with global climate targets, we have to reduce our carbon footprint – no ifs, ands, or buts. Nevertheless, there are a lot of challenges we need to face first.  more[...]

Climate Change

Toward a Post-Kyoto Climate Change Architecture: A Political Analysis

By Prof. Dr. Robert O. Keohane (Princeton University ), Prof. Kal Raustiala (UCLA)

Any international regime aimed at the mitigation of climate change must solve three problems. It must: (1) secure sufficient participation to be effective; (2) achieve agreement on rules that are meaningful, so that if they were followed, climate change would indeed be mitigated; and (3) ensure compliance with the rules. That is, it must solve problems of participation, effectiveness, and compliance. These problems require careful institutional design.  more[...]  login_required


The German Energiewende – Our Contribution to a Sustainable Energy System

By Sigmar Gabriel

People around the world are observing the progress being made by Germany on its energy reforms (known as the “Energiewende”), which are no less than a complete overhaul of its energy supply system, entailing the phase-out of nuclear energy, a reduced reliance on fossil fuels, the promotion of energy efficiency, and the establishment of renewable energies as the main sources of energy.  more[...]


Aligning Flows of Capital with Tackling Climate Change

By James Leaton (Carbon Tracker Initiative)

The Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) was set up a few years ago to investigate what levels of future carbon emissions were being financed. By comparing the stocks of carbon in the form of coal, oil, and gas in the ground with carbon budgets that equate to degrees of warming, we have demonstrated the huge overhang of carbon in our energy system – what we refer to as “unburnable carbon.”  more[...]


Reducing Carbon Emissions in Everyday Life

By Dr. Nicola Schuldt-Baumgart (ISOE - Institute for Social-Ecological Research), Dr. Immanuel Stieß (ISOE - Institute for Social-Ecological Research)

When it comes to protecting the climate, the focus is usually on business and industry. Less well-known is the fact that more than half of the total annual carbon footprint per person (11 tons) is the direct or indirect product of private households.  more[...]


Christina Figueres: A Pathway Toward Carbon Neutrality

Interview with Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)  more[...]  login_required


Lenoardo DiCaprio: “We need to change our thinking and our sense of urgency.”

“Without my (ecological) activities, I wouldn’t be a fulfilled person. Only two per cent of philanthropy goes toward protecting our environment and that’s pretty outrageous, considering it is our life support system.”  more[...]


The Politics of Climate Change

By Lord Anthony Giddens (London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE))

It is an important year, and everybody knows it because it is the year of Copenhagen. It’s a key for climate change policy. I do hope the Copenhagen negotiations will be successful, but there are reasons I have to be worried.  more[...]  login_required

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: NOAA)
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: NOAA)
  • Two Degrees Clubs: How Small Groups of Countries Can Make a Big Difference on Climate Change

    Jennifer Morgan, World Resource Institute
    Lutz Weischer, World Resource Institute

    Last week, ministers from 50 countries convened in South Korea for a “Pre-COP” meeting to prepare for the upcoming UNFCCC conference in Doha, Qatar (COP 18). Ministers confirmed their commitment to negotiate a new international climate framework by the end of 2015, as outlined in the Durban Platform agreed to at COP 17 last year.  more[...]

    The Author
  • U.S. Insurance Companies Vulnerable to Extreme Weather, Changing Climate


    Worsening weather in a warming world poses a growing risk to the financial stability of insurance companies and has broad ramifications for the economy and society, according to a new report.  more[...]

    The Author
  • The world bites back

    Paul Simpson, Carbon Disclosure Project

    Around the world, I see turbulence disrupting established systems and creating uncertainty. Across Europe, the ramifications of the debt crisis continue to be made known. The resolutely firm financial standing of Germany was recently rocked when credit ratings agency Moody's announced the country’s creditworthiness to be “negative”, a demotion from “stable”. The Netherlands and Luxembourg experienced the same fate and now share the label. In a desperate bid to tackle its financial woes, Spain paid the second highest yield on short-term debt since the birth of the Euro. Turn to Greece, and the scene is no less bleak.  more[...]  login_required

    The Author
    Paul Simpson, Carbon Disclosure Project 


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Stakeholder Engagement: A Key Strength for the Success of Our Projects France EDF Group Renewable Enegery, Climate Change, Environment, Stakeholder
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Climate Protection at Deutsche Bank

By Prof. Hanns Michael Hölz

Companies need to act sustainably to maintain the trust of the societies in which they operate. Climate protection has an important role to play here. Deutsche Bank is active in the following areas: financial intermediary, environmental efficiency manager and climate ambassador.  more[...]

Bayer Ecobuilding

A Global Concept for Zero-Emission Buildings

By Dr. Wolfgang Große-Entrup (Bayer Group)

Carbon reduction is a difficult job. Significant progress will only be possible with a coherent climate strategy. We spoke with Dr. Wolfgang Große Entrup, Head of Governmental and Product Affairs at Bayer AG about the ambitious plans.  more[...]  login_required


Avoiding Adaptation Apartheid: Climate Change Adaptation and Human Rights Law

By Margaux J. Hall (World Bank), David C. Weiss (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP)

There is now little doubt that humans will be forced to adapt to the impacts of a warming world. There is also little doubt that the poorest people in the poorest countries will bear most of the burden of adapting to climate consequences they had almost no role in creating.(2) As the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has explained, “In the Netherlands, people are investing in homes that can float on water.  more[...]  login_required

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