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Let's Say It in Their Own Words

In this article, Dr. Grit Martinez ist concerned with the role of culture and history in relation to local knowledge and values, as these are displayed in the interpretations and actions of distinct groups regarding climate change. She argues that it makes sense to communicate the climate in a manner appropriate to the given cultural-historical context and imaginary and to the relevant semiotic and material views of the people in it. The article is available for download.Read more

Spatially Differentiated Regulation: Can it save the Baltic Sea from excessive N-loads?

The Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Water Framework Directive both require substantial additional reductions of nutrient loads (N and P) to the marine environment. Focusing on nitrogen, we present a widely applicable concept for spatially differentiated regulation, exploiting the large spatial variations in the natural removal of nitrate in groundwater and surface water. By targeting mitigation measures towards areas where nature’s own capacity for removal is low, spatially differentiated regulation can be more cost-effective than the traditional uniform regulation. We present a methodology for upscaling local modelling results on targeted measures at field scale to Baltic Sea drainage basin scale. The paper assesses the potential gain and discusses key challenges related to implementation of spatially differentiated regulation, including the need for more scientific knowledge, handling of uncertainties, practical constraints related to agricultural practice and introduction of co-governance regimes.Read more

Regulierung: Lösungen am falschen Ende

Plastics Atlas 2019: Facts and figures about a world full of plastics
There are numerous regulatory approaches at the international, regional and national level regarding the handling of plastic products and plastic waste. What they all have in common is their limited effectiveness. Linda Mederake, Stephan Gürtler and Doris Knoblauch argue that this is partly due to the fact that at the international level a large number of binding agreements and voluntary initiatives have developed independently of one another and are therefore not coordinated in terms of content. The Plastics Atlas 2019 is available online.Read more

NaWiKo Change Agents

Societal transformations are often initiated by individuals. This also applies to the sustainable economy issue: There are particularly committed people behind many smaller and larger developments that have been set in motion in recent years. Some of these "change agents" who were involved in projects of the "Scientific coordination of research projects on a sustainable economy" (NaWiKo) have been presented as part of the project's dissemination work.Read more
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EU Reform and Climate Policies – Two Birds with One Stone

Maintaining a strong EU and implementing effective climate policies go hand in hand with one another. Indeed, they are pretty much the best of friends. A stable, prosperous and climate-resilient Europe requires effective climate action; and effective climate action needs a strong EU. When addressed from this angle, there is a lot of agreement among EU policymakers, who often speak about the importance of climate action when addressing the future of the EU. However, there is more to it than general agreement. Climate policies and the future of the EU can reinforce each other in concrete ways. This article by Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf (Ecologic Institute) and Sebastian Oberthür (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) is available for download.Read more
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EU Reform and Climate Policies – Pretty Much Best Friends

On 9 May 2019, the European Council meets in Sibiu (Romania). Not long ago, this meeting was expected to be an important milestone in the Process on the Future of the EU. Now, expectations are much lower. Avoiding controversy is the first order of business. But the core questions of the Process on the Future of the EU will not go away: how to maintain and develop a strong EU? This question will stick with us, and it will keep the new Parliament and the new Commission busy. This article by Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf (Ecologic Institute) and Sebastian Oberthür (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) is available online.Read more

How Can We Make the Energiewende Digital and Sustainable?

The Energiewende means a transition from the old, nuclear-and-coal based, to a sustainable and digitalized energy system. This is a complex endeavor: the number of actors involved increases and their functions overlap. While digital technologies bring automation and potential for relief, they are an ambivalent phenomenon: with no comprehensive laws on data protection, it is unclear what is going to happen to the tremendous amount of data collected by digital appliances. Besides, technologies like blockchain are often so energy-intensive that they eat up the amount of resources that they are trying to save. Therefore, political design must actively shape a digital and ecologically sustainable energy transition – it will not happen by itself.Read more
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The Future of Energy Security

Energy security – the uninterrupted supply of energy at reasonable prices, as defined by IEA – has both external and internal dynamics. It can be ensured through local adequacy, that is, abundant and varied forms of indigenous energy resources, but the countries that face local shortages, as in Bangladesh, depend on imports. Shafiqul Alam explains in his online article in the Dhaka Tribune how internal measures could attenuate reliance on external sources.Read more
Publication

Wer von Fahrverboten spricht, verhindert Umweltschutz

Framing-Check: "Fahrverbot"
The use of the term "driving ban" can give the impression of a general and comprehensive ban on driving. In this sense, it means, rather, a ban on mobility. The term thus does not only suggest a banishment, but also an interference in the personal freedom of all drivers, not only of diesel drivers. "Traffic restrictions" is the more precise term with respect to the content. Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Head of International and European Governance, and Katharina Umpfenbach, Coordinator Energy of the Ecologic Institute, discuss this in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The article is available online.Read more

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