Headline: News 2022


Europe needs more strategic crisis management

The European Union faces a growing number of complex, overlapping, transboundary crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It must better prepare for and respond to them, according to the scientific and ethical opinion delivered to the EU Commission at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Nov. 22, 2022.

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Democratic governance

Podcast Explores Carbon’s Role in Politics

In a podcast series, RIFS researchers discuss the role of carbon in climate and sustainability politics. They talk to academics, activists and artists whose work has influenced their own research on the transformations of our carbon-dependent society. In the fourth episode, Usha Natarajan (Columbia University/Dalhousie University) and Julia Dehm (La Trobe Law School) discuss their book “Locating Nature: Making and Unmaking International Law”.

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Special Issue

Systemic Risk: Theoretical Foundations and Case Studies

Systemic risks such as climate change, cybercrime, pandemics and social inequality are complex and interconnected. Accordingly, managing such risks requires effective organisational structures and processes. A new special issue of the journal Risk Analysis presents theoretically robust, evidence-based approaches for assessing and managing risk. The special issue is edited by IASS Director Ortwin Renn and Research Group Head Pia-Johanna Schweizer.

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Study by the Franco-German Forum for the Future

How Local Food Can Help Save the World

Food is an important lever in the social-ecological transformation. It is also an everyday issue that is easy to communicate to the public. Municipalities in Germany and France have recognized the potential of innovative local policies and have introduced novel approaches to making local food systems more sustainable. In doing so, though, they are encountering structural barriers that cannot be overcome at the municipal level. The Franco-German Forum for the Future has researched the opportunities and obstacles of local nutritional change and brought engaged municipalities from both countries into exchange with each other.

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The Hydrogen Dilemma

One of this year’s new IASS fellows is Aliaksei (Alex) Patonia. He is a research fellow in commercial hydrogen development at the Energy Transition Research Initiative (ETRI), which is run by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He is concerned with the challenges of the evolving hydrogen economy.

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Social Tipping Points in the Spotlight

While the physical tipping points of the climate system have been the focus of substantial research, social tipping points, in which societies succeed or fail in adapting to climatic change, have received little coverage. An international team including researcher Pia-Johanna Schweizer from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) recently published a study that explores social tipping points in connection with climate adaptation and systemic risks.

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