Recent Publications and Speeches


Felix Ekardt on "Growth - A Hard Habit to Break

A contribution in the Global Compact International Yearbook deals with fundamental issues of the sustainability debate: the limits to green growth and technological innovations, the preconditions of societal transformation towards sustainability, the complexity of human motivation, the underrated ambitiousness of the long-term goal in the Paris Climate Agreement. See, among other papers, here.

Phosphorus, Scarcity of Natural Resources, and the Law

During the last years, the Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy has done a lot of research on questions of phosphorus and scarcity of natural resources, as well as on land-use and climate change - from a transdisciplinary point of view. See, among other papers, Economic Instruments for P, N, Climate, Biodiv.

Universalism, Discourse Ethics, and Objectivity of Norms

The Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy has done a lot of research on the normative grounds of sustainability - respectively on the theoretical basis of both ethics and law. The most informative is the big German volume "Theorie der Nachhaltigkeit", but there is also a number of English papers. See, among other papers, here.

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Energy and Climate Protection: Governance, Law, Politics

For a long time, the Research Unit offers work on sustainability governance on European and national level, mostly in developing policy instruments which are able to replace those currently in place that are weak in ambition and implantation and are not fit to avoid rebound and shifting effects. Instruments which regulate quantity and price and their interaction with other policies play a special role. Besides issues of land use, the Research Unit mainly works in the field of energy and climate. This is represented in the large number of publications and lectures as well as several big third-party funded projects like on the future development on climate policy, on the renewable energy law and energy sufficiency.

Contrary to common perception, both Germany and Europe as a whole are far from reaching their climate targets. Inconvenient truths such as the necessity to continuously increase costs of fossil fuels are not discussed. We analyze the issue how societies and individuals change and are thus able to contribute to a real and global energy transition, even though desires of daily life are often in contradiction. We explain why German and European leadership (even in an economic sense) is crucial and why new lifestyles are not a restriction but a necessary element of freedom and social justice. In spring 2016, the third edition of “Theorie der Nachhaltigkeit“ (Theory on sustainability”) by Felix Ekardt is published. It presents a unique, broad approach on the basics of justice and sustainability, on human rights theory, on the causes for lacking sustainability and on an effective climate and resource policy. It is a new edition of his habilitation monography (partially more current than the downloads below). A shorter English version is supposed to be published in 2017.

Downloadable texts: