Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy
Prof. Dr. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A.
Even with zero fossil fuels and greatly reduced animal husbandry, residual emissions remain that must be compensated - even if sufficiency can make this amount of emissions smaller than the IPCC assumes. This requires above all the regulation of forests and peatlands (which are also central to biodiversity protection). Here, economic instruments and regulatory law relate to each other differently than they often do. Three international articles explore this - on forests, on peatlands and on the very problematic large-scale geoengineering.
German and EU climate policy is contrary to international law and constitutional human rights. Even the unambitious targets themselves are illegal. More on this in our new legal analysis, including critical perspectives on IPCC AR6 here. In April 2021, we won a groundbreaking lawsuit at the German Constitutional Court. See on this in Nature Climate Change here and in The Environment here.
The existing legal framework on P is strongly characterized by detailed command-and-control provisions and thus suffers from governance problems such as enforcement deficits, rebound and shifting effects. Our new paper focuses on how these challenges could be addressed by economic instruments. The article highlights not only the impact of the instruments on P management, but also on adjacent environmental areas. We pay particular attention to the governance effects on reaching international binding climate and biodiv goals: here.
The production of animal food products is (besides fossil fuels) one of the most important noxae with regard to many of the environmental problems, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or globally disrupted nutrient cycles. This paper provides a qualitative governance analysis of which regulatory options there are to align livestock farming with the legally binding environmental objectives, in particular the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity: here.
From 2019 Felix Ekardt is the editor of Springer Nature's new book series "Environmental Humanities: Transformation, Governance, Ethics, Law". It is open to the entire social sciences, i.e. economics, philosophy, sociology, political science, ethnology, etc. Vol 1 "Sustainability: Transformation, Governance, Ethics, Law" by Felix Ekardt has been published in 2019/2020 and provides an overview of the work of the FNK with completely new perspectives in sustainability research - and can be read with Springer Link: here. Vol. 2 on a Criticism of Cost-Benefit Analysis and Vol. 3 on Forest Governance are available here and here.
In addition to the list of English publications, the list of international speeches and the buttons in the left column, here some new English texts and links on the work of the Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy can be found. Please be aware that much more texts/ speeches/ publications can be found under the links in the left bar of the website (and even more on the German version of this website - see the language button).
Natural resources are back on the agenda. After the rise of new economic powers such as China, India, and Brazil, global competition has perceptibly increased strategic concerns as regards high commodity prices and possible supply shortages. Germany, the EU, the United States, and many others have formulated raw material strategies that put concern over access and supply at center stage – but the environmental and the socio-political dimensions are widely neglected in these strategies. This paper underlines a new dimension of international relations and pleads for new approaches, called international resource politics, which can be used for ongoing debates concerning green economy and transition strategies. Download