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Scientist Dr. Swantje Gährs deals with energy prosumers in various projects for the IÖW. Prosumers are people who both consume and produce renewable energies. So far, her focus has been on prosumers in Germany and Europe. On a trip to China and Japan she explored the countries’ prosumer landscapes to find out how it is different to the German one. She met with scientists, NGOs, think tanks, policy consultants and citizens' initiatives in both countries and visited solar plants in Ruicheng (China), Sendai and Ueda (Japan). Japan and China are two of the largest solar energy producers in the world. > more information


Complex transition processes require the design and implementation of effective governance models. Governments alone are not enough, since many different actors make relevant decisions. Therefore, both state and private actors should be involved in problem-solving. In June 2019, IÖW researcher Florian Kern contributed to several international conferences in Canada by addressing potential conceptions regarding the governance and management of sustainability transitions: the International Sustainability Transitions Conference (IST 2019) at Carleton University in Ottawa, the 4th International Conference on Public Policy at Concordia University in Montreal and a workshop for policy makers from various Canadian ministries > more information


A group of parliamentarians from Brazil visited the IÖW on 3 June 2019 and discussed with energy expert Prof. Bernd Hirschl findings from many years of research at the IÖW on the German energy system transformation and the resulting recommendations for the design of environmentally friendly and climate-friendly energy systems. > more information


Environmental and climate protection have become considerably more important among the public in recent years. These are the findings of the environmental awareness survey. The majority of the population believes that the important stakeholders (industry, federal government, local authorities) are not yet doing enough – and are also critical of their own commitment as citizens. Every other year the Federal Ministry for the Environment and UBA conduct the Environmental Awareness Survey to assess the trends in environmental awareness and environmental behaviour of the German people. Some 4,000 people were polled for the current survey in the second half of 2018. For the third time in a row, the Institute for Ecological Economy Research, together with its partners, conducted the current study on behalf of BMU and UBA. > more information


Non-financial reporting by German companies has long been a voluntary matter. As of fiscal year 2017, the CSR Directive Implementation Act makes it mandatory for some 500 large German companies. In an arcticle in the journal Sustainability Management Forum IÖW-scientists Esther Hoffmann, Christian Dietsche and Christine Hobelsberger identify the trends and developments in voluntary reporting before the CSR reporting obligation came into force. The study is based on an analysis of the quality of sustainability reports published by German companies in 2014 and 2015. The article has been published open access. > more information


The earth’s future well-being depends on our ability to adhere to the so-called planetary boundaries – environmental limits beyond which essential earth and ecosystem stabilities may be greatly impaired. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report on the 1.5-degree target reflects the urgency of a corresponding global social transformation. But what will this mean for a wealthy country like Germany? Can its economy continue to grow – or might it even have to shrink? This is the subject of substantial political debate, but so far, there are no widely accepted answers. A study published today by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) presents a consensus proposal on the controversial issue of economic growth in the sustainability debate. > more information


The peer-reviewed article “Research on Degrowth”, published recently in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, was produced by an international team of scientists from various disciplines. The result is a multifaceted overview of the status of degrowth research from an economic, historical, anthropological, and environmental science perspective. “The article delineates the current status of the debate on post-growth and degrowth”, said IÖW post-growth expert and co-author Dr. Steffen Lange. > more information


Head of IÖW research field “Environmental Policy and Governance”, Dr. Florian Kern, was re-elected in June 2018 as a member of the steering group of the Sustainability Transition Research Network (STRN) for the next two years. In his role, Kern participates in updating the research agenda of the network and tries to improve the interface between the network´s research and policy practice, among other things. > more information


The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective on 25 May 2018. It protects und strengthens the handling of personal data. We also place value on a responsible way of handling your personal data. In the course of the new data protection regulation, we have updated our privacy policy. > more information


The 3-year project PROSEU under the EU “Horizon 2020” programme has been launched today by a group of researchers and local government representatives from 8 countries at a kick off meeting in Lisbon. With a focus on the role of citizens in producing and distributing their own renewable energy, its aim is to explore how this so-called “prosumerism” can help building a more sustainable future. Within the project the IÖW uses its prosumer-model for developing scenarios for 2030 and 2050 based on an analysis of technological solutions for prosumers under different geographical, climatic and socio-political conditions. > more information

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