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Climate protection demands action Contributions Made by Social-Ecological Research

Climate change impacts on the environment, people and their living conditions but also for on their possibilities for shaping their future. The Federal Government has therefore set clear and far-reaching targets for combating climate change. With its scientific technical solutions and sociological knowledge, research contributes to the implementation of these goals. Promoting and developing the carbon-free generation and use of energy as well as tapping existing potentials of energy-efficient technologies can make a decisive contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But if one looks at the challenges linked to the goal of limiting the rise in temperature to a maximum of two degrees, it is quite obvious that the problems of climate change cannot be solved through technological innovation alone. The brochure “Climate protection needs action”, published by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, shows results from research projects conducted under the support measure “socio-ecological research” which have created a solution-oriented knowledge base about the dynamic interactions between societies and their natural environment. The projects

  • bring together the scientific knowledge of climate research and knowledge about technological, economic or behaviour-oriented options for action to combat climate change and evaluate this knowledge;
  • highlight the feedback between social and natural systems whilst taking account of the possibilities for action of various social protagonists and develop appropriate procedures for dealing with climatic uncertainties;
  •  feed in sociological insights about heterogeneous interests;
  • elaborate strategies open to development with which the ability of societies and social groups to adapt to the consequences of climate change can be strengthened and which at the same time address the causes of climate change.