From 10 to 14 February 2020, the five-day PhD-WinterSchool "Plastics in the Environment" of the BMBF research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources ● Sinks ● Solutions" took place in Döllnsee, Brandenburg.
In December 2019, a new European Commission took office in Brussels, and president Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to put climate policy at the center for the next five years. But how ambitious are the Commission's plans? What is the business sector's take on the new climate drive? How do international climate experts assess the plans? And how will EU decisions shape national energy, mobility and climate debates and actions in the member states? This research tour for journalists from 2 to 4 December 2019 to Brussels, jointly organised with Clean Energy Wire (CLEW) and the European Climate Foundation (ECF) offered an introduction to relevant institutions, actors and topics that equipped participants with background and contacts to cover EU climate, energy and transport policy.
Due to the success of the citizen science campaign "Plastic Pirates" in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, the youth campaign has been extended again as part of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment", which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. This year, the campaign takes place from 1 May until 30 June 2019 and allows young people between 10 and 16 years old to become scientists and contribute to a large citizen science project. We invite all young people to join!
On 9 and 10 April 2019, the status conference of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) took place in the Kalkscheune in Berlin. The coordinators of the 20 joint projects funded within the research focus presented their projects and explained first results as well as challenges of their projects. The conference proceedings, presenting the joint projects and cross-cutting topics, are available for download.
To mark the launch of the 2018 Global Think Tank Ranking report on 31 January 2019, Ecologic Institute convened a Luncheon discussion of think tankers and policy experts to discuss "Why Facts and Think Tanks Matter". The event, the first of its kind in Lisbon (Portugal), was part of a worldwide launch of the report in over 80 cities around the world, with over 230 think tanks hosting or co-hosting.
How does plastic litter end up in the sea? How much microplastic does our shower scrub contain? Where exactly is the plastic waste in the ocean? What do our rivers have to do with it? And how can I, as an individual living far away from the coast, participate in real research on seas and oceans? These and other questions will be answered in a webinar for teachers and youth group leaders under the title ‘Sustainable environmental education in schools: Plastic waste in German rivers – the "Plastic Pirates" campaign’ on 13 September 2018 at 5 pm. Registrations are welcome.
The Arctic Summer College brings together Arctic experts, professionals, and students for a transdisciplinary exchange on key Arctic issues. The webinar series, which was conceived by Ecologic Institute in 2011, covered in 2018 four thematic modules: (1) Environmental Sciences, (2) Energy and Resources, (3) International Governance, and (4) Social Sciences. The webinar series is available online.
Ecologic Institute and its partners are pleased to announce the 2018 Arctic Summer College and are seeking applications from emerging leaders working to improve Arctic governance from around the world. This year applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker introduced the Club's new report "Come On!" at a Dinner Dialogue hosted by Ecologic Institute. The event featured guest speakers Professor Klaus Töpfer and Dr. Simone Peter, who commented on the book. Ecologic Institute’s director Dr. Camilla Bausch initiated and moderated the event.
Initially developed for the Science Year 2016/*17 – Seas and Oceans of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the funding for the youth campaign "Plastic Pirates" has been extended as part of the BMBF's research focus "Plastic in the Environment". The campaign takes place from 1 May until 30 June 2018 and allows young people between 10 and 16 years old to become scientists and contribute to a large citizen science project. A second period for sampling is envisaged for 15 September until 15 November 2018. We invite all young people to join! For "Plastic Pirates", the PlastikNet team at Ecologic Institute is collaborating with the Kieler Forschungswerkstatt.
On 27 March 2018, around 20 social scientists, all involved in a project of the research program "Plastic in the Environment", funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, met to network and discuss future possibilities to increase the visibility of the social and political dimensions of plastics in the environment. The chair for science and technology policy at the Munich Center for Technology in Society organized the meeting together with Ecologic Institute.
In January 2018, the Ecologic Institute hosted a group of students from the University of Maryland for a Seminar on Energy, Climate Change and Options for a Low-Carbon Economy. Berlin was the host city for the first leg of the two-week seminar – followed by a week in Venice, hosted by the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC). In Berlin, Grit Martinez, R. Andreas Kraemer and Benjamin Görlach taught sessions on the basics of climate change and climate policy, on adaptation to climate change, and on the German energy transition. The course was rounded off with an excursion to Lusatia, a coal mining region southeast of Berlin.
Shortly before Christmas 2017, decision makers from the Midwest in the USA and Canada took the opportunity to come to Germany and get a feel for the many different facets and recent developments of German energy policy. The group consisted of US representatives from Illinois, Kansas and Wisconsin, as well as Canadian members of the legislative assembly from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. During the tour, participants were able to meet and engage with representatives from federal ministries and agencies, municipalities, the German parliament, think tanks, as well as businesses and embassies.
Ecologic Institute organized the second ICAP Master Course on Emissions Trading in Lisbon (Portugal). The two week-long course brought together 30 experts from emerging economies and developing countries to learn about emissions trading systems (ETS) as a tool for climate protection, and to discuss the options of implementing or optimizing such systems in their home countries.
The objective of transformative research is to find out, together with actors from the corporate sector, politics and civil society, how our economic and social system can be made more sustainable, and to jointly test possible solutions. Transformative research is thus also transdisciplinary - it involves actors beyond academia as equal partners. This kind of research involves certain methodological challenges and questions; some of these were discussed at the tF Symposium 2021: From Experiment to Mainstream. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers and Christiane Gerstetter, both Senior Fellows at the Ecologic Institute, contributed to the online symposium, which was held in German language.
Training the next generation of environmental lawyers is crucial for ensuring that environmental law is complied with and can thus serve its function of protecting the environment. Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, co-moderated an online course for German and Russian students entitled "Ecolaw and ecoactivism in Germany and Russia".
On 4 and 5 February 2020, Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis and Ewa Iwaszuk attended an expert workshop "Mobilizing up-scaling of Nature-based Solutions for climate change throughout 2020 and beyond" convened by the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission (DG ENV). McKenna Davis moderated a discussion on mobilising the biodiversity benefits of nature-based solutions (NBS) deployed for climate action.