Headline: News 2024

Research stay

RIFS Invites Applications for 2025 Fellowship Programme

Each year around 30 fellows come to the Research Institute for Sustainability – Helmholtz Centre Potsdam to pursue research projects in the field of sustainability. Applications for the 2025 cohort of RIFS Fellows are now open through to 14 July 2024. With the Fellowship, the Institute offers the opportunity to explore innovative ideas in a transdisciplinary research environment.

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Ensuring the Vulnerable Are Heard in International Climate Decision-Making

Nicola Sharman joined RIFS as a Fellow in April 2024. She comes from the University of Eastern Finland, where she is part of the 2035Legitimacy project. Her work focuses on the democratic legitimacy of international climate change law and the exercise of procedural rights within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change from the point of view of those most affected by climate change.

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Towards Arctic Research Upholding Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Contemporary Arctic research frequently perpetuates colonial injustices against local Indigenous communities. A team of researchers, including scientists from the Research Institute for Sustainability – Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, have published a policy brief with recommendations aimed at upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples and fostering the parity and complementarity of Traditional Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, and academic scientific knowledge. The policy brief is a contribution to the International Arctic Science Committee’s multi-year planning process for the Fourth International Conference on Arctic Research Planning.

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Success of German Hydrogen Strategy Depends on Production Capacities in Partner Countries

Germany aims to become a global leader in hydrogen technologies. In contrast to other countries, its hydrogen strategy places a strong focus on promoting “green hydrogen” based on renewable energies, supported by cooperation with partners in distant regions. While this approach is likely to constrain progress at first, it may be the only way for Germany to achieve its climate targets in the longer run, RIFS researchers argue in a study published in Energy Strategy Reviews. At the same time, this means that the success of Germany’s hydrogen strategy depends on the development of production capacities in partner countries.

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How Normal Is Our Reality?

Perceptions of the Arctic take centre-stage in the recent work of Hamburg-based conceptual artist Swaantje Güntzel, created during her tenure as the resident Art Fellow at the Research Institute for Sustainability - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam. Now several galleries across Germany are showcasing Güntzel’s art, including works from previous years.

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RIFS Fellows

Everyone on Board for Climate Action? RIFS Fellow Examines UN Strategy for Civil Society Engagement

An active civil society is important in tackling climate change: it can push for new laws, hold the government accountable, and ensure that the interests of disadvantaged groups are addressed. It makes sense, then, that a growing number of civil society representatives are taking part in international negotiations such as the UN climate conferences. But how great is their impact? Deborah Lika hopes to answer this question during a year-long fellowship at RIFS.

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#FactoryWisskomm Fellowship

New Podcast: Science and Politics in Conversation

Good policy builds on a broad foundation of knowledge. A new podcast from the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) brings policymakers and researchers together to talk about the findings of science and how they can be used to support decision-making.

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#PTDW 2024

Play with Science and Embrace a More Sustainable Lifestyle

The 11th annual Potsdam Science Day will take place on Saturday, 4 May 2024. This year the event will be held on the GFZ Campus on Telegrafenberg. The Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) will be hosting a booth on site, where visitors can play a climate game developed by the European research project 1.5-Degree Lifestyles and learn about how making changes to different everyday activities can reduce our impact on the climate.

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Road Safety

Large Majority in Favour of Maintaining 30 km/h Zone on Leipziger Straße

In a survey conducted by the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) in June and July 2023, around 80 per cent of the 64 cyclists surveyed stated that a speed limit of 30 km/h should be maintained on Leipziger Straße in the central Mitte district of Berlin. Pedestrians surveyed expressed similar views. There is also strong support for the creation of a bike lane that is physically separated from motorised traffic.

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