In the coming years, the course must be set for the necessary transformation toward a society and economy that is in keeping with the needs for future generations. Science, and sustainability research in particular, has a responsibility to support this change with its resources. But what must science resemble in order to find practicable answers to the most urgent questions of the future? And what demands does this place on the research policy agenda?
This event is part of the "Knowledge for Change" series of events celebrating Ecornet's 10th anniversary.
Ten years ago, leading independent institutes of environmental and sustainability research in Germany joined forces to form the Ecological Research Network (Ecornet) in order to bring their combined knowledge to bear on the scientific landscape and society. With their practice-oriented, transdisciplinary research, the Ecornet institutes have been accompanying - and actively shaping - socio-ecological change for decades.
The more stringent climate targets of the state of Berlin require that both the heat supply is converted to renewable energies in the next few years and that the building envelopes are ambitiously renovated to make them more energy efficient. This poses great challenges for the state and districts as well as the real estate industry. At the same time, due to the tense situation on the Berlin housing market, there is a need for regulations to protect tenants, which is why the number of milieu protection areas in Berlin's districts has risen sharply. In these areas, which already contain a relevant proportion of old buildings which are in need of refurbishment, there are additional obstacles to climate protection measures that are in line with the objectives.
At the event, we want to explain why it is necessary to ambitiously refurbish the energy efficiency of these areas, that this can also be beneficial for tenants in the medium term, and that these areas therefore even represent an opportunity for socially acceptable energy efficiency refurbishments. The districts are an important actor here — what options do they have for action to promote ambitious climate protection in these areas and beyond in neighbourhoods in general without neglecting the protection of tenants?
In the seventh edition of Wandelwecker, our morning impulse for a social and ecological metropolis, we discuss this with two proven experts:
Jörg Zander, District Office Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
Dr. Julika Weiß, Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)
Europa its on its way towards a circular economy and has set itself an extremely ambitious plan to this end in the form of the Circular Economy Action Plan; among other things, non-recyclable residual waste is to be halved by 2030. But how is it being put into practice? And what does it take to gain more speed here – for example in the textile sector, which is virtually exemplary for the linear thinking of a throwaway culture.
Infrastructure development in Germany must be increasingly geared towards increased climate targets and the need for decarbonization. At the same time, public participation is still needed to involve the population in the upcoming change processes and to ensure democratic achievements. Thus, leveraging efficiency potentials in planning processes is considered key to manage infrastructure development in a more targeted manner in the years to come. What are the possibilities, limits and sensible approaches to accelerating planning?
Germany wants to become climate-neutral by 2045, the EU by 2050. Both targets became legally binding in 2021, an important breakthrough on the way to structural transformation to a climate-friendly economy. What further breakthroughs are needed to anchor this transformation in society and enable its implementation? How can the responsibility of individuals as well as economic actors for climate protection be realized?
In Berlin, a variety of initiatives show how the economy can be different: with more solidarity, more democracy, more ecological and better for all. We discuss why this is not easy, but can be promising. In the sixth edition of Wandelwecker, our morning impulse for a social and ecological metropolis, we discuss these questions with two experts.
The expert dialogue aims at informing and discussing the implementation of Re-Use and recycling measures for insulation materials. The Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, the "Verband für Dämmsysteme, Putz und Mörtel" (Association for Insulation Systems, Plaster and Mortar) and the "Gesamtverband Deutscher Holzhandel" (German Timber Trade Association) invite you to attend – alongside around 250 expected participants – the Webinar, taking place on 6 October 2021. Ecologic Institute supports organising and implementing the event logistically and technically.
The digital, or perhaps in this case "intelligent" technologies that are to shape all areas of society in the future, especially our cities, need regulation. After all, these kinds of technologies inform, decide and control — but in whose interest and with which objectives in mind? Recently, there has been increasing thought and debate about the possibilities of democratic data governance "from below". Citizens should (also) be able to decide what intelligent, data-driven machines are used for by consciously sharing their data. Can such approaches be a model for the sustainable digitalization of cities and municipalities and provide a counterweight to the data monopolies of large corporations? What could democratic data governance in Berlin look like?
The Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Program 2030 gives solar energy a central role, as it is the most important renewable energy source that can be developed locally. The state government wants to cover 25 percent of Berlin's electricity supply from solar energy as quickly as possible. In the densely populated city, this also requires the roofs of apartment buildings to be used. In the discussion format Wandelwecker on 8 September 2021, Fabian Zuber from the Reiner Lemoine Foundation and Ecologic Institute's Katharina Umpfenbach discussed options transforming the regulation of tenant electricity and local solar power supply. The event was moderated by Valentin Tappeser from IÖW. It became clear that solar expansion can only be achieved at the required speed with a fundamentally new regulatory approach centered around joint self-supply that intelligently links on-site power generation via solar systems with charging of electric vehicles and heat generation.
In EU policy, the textile value chain is currently in the focus of efforts to build a circular economy. Textile recycling in the EU is still in its infancy, although promising innovative technologies are about to enter the market. How can policy support the industrial uptake of textile recycling? This was topic of a webinar held on 31 August 2021. Members of Ecologic Institute's Circular Economy Team presented policy recommendations to the European Commission to enhance systems for the collection, sorting and recycling of textile waste - and to create a market for recycled textiles.
Re-using goods and products offers numerous economic, ecological and social potentials. An exciting case example for the reuse of building components and furnishings was presented on 15 July 2021 at the online expert dialogue "Re-use of building components and furnishings in the construction project of the church community of Staaken".
On 7 July 2021, Ecologic Institute organized an online event to discuss insights on Sustainable Adaptation Pathways gained in the project "Joint implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement". The panel discussion was moderated by Camilla Bausch, Director of Ecologic Institute and took place as a virtual event parallel to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2021 of the United Nations.
Across Europe, national climate advisory bodies exist in many shapes and forms. Most countries have one or more such institutions. While many of the existing advisory bodies bring together a range of stakeholders and cover a broad range of sustainability issues, over the past five years there has been a surge in the creation of independent scientific councils, dedicated to climate policy.