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Richard Harnisch
IÖW main office
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10785 Berlin
tel.: +49–30–884 594-0
E-mail: kommunikation(at)


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IÖW Press Releases

Berlin, 2 September 2021

Bringing together environmental and social policy: Researchers call for transformation cabinet

It is becoming increasingly clear that environmental and climate protection and social justice are two sides of the same coin and can only be advanced together. In order to usher in the necessary substantive steps, new institutional structures are needed to consolidate interministerial cooperation, particularly between the environmental and social policy ministries, the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the Open Society Foundations recommend in a policy briefing published today. They advise policymakers to develop the climate cabinet into a comprehensive transformation cabinet in which social policy actors are also included which is currently not the case.

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Berlin, 4 February 2021

Landmark report: Social well-being within planetary boundaries by reducing dependence on economic growth

The global environmental and climate crises call for systemic societal change. Strategies like the European Green New Deal and the recent Corona-related economic stimulus packages are trying to respond to the enormous challenges. German economists argue in a study that there is a growing need to rethink the dependence on economic growth, because all too often ambitious environmental policies are not enacted due to the fact that they are seen to ‘interfere’ with economic growth. The researchers’ core recommendation is: If an economy became less dependent on growth, this would open up new opportunities not only for environmental policy, but also for many other policy areas.
After it has triggered significant debate in Germany, the landmark report ‘Social well-being within planetary boundaries: The precautionary post-growth approach’ has now been published in English language. It was authored by researchers from the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Wuppertal Institute for Environment, Climate, Energy on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

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Berlin/Essen/Wuppertal, 6 November 2018

Dispute over growth – economists present new consensus proposal

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.

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