Landscape: Erbil

Working Group “Climate Change”

As climate change is advancing, environmental policy and environmental research are faced with mayor challenges: How can further climate change be prevented? Which ecological and social impacts will it have? And how should we adapt to the consequences that are to be expected of the change already proceeding?

These questions of growing importance are dealt with by almost all branches of environmental research represented at the UFZ. They are relevant for those dealing with sustainable land use and spatial planning or water management and soil protection, as well as for the ones working in the fields of biodiversity protection or urban studies and in the social sciences – from economics and politics to sociology, geomatics and law. It is especially the task of the social sciences to identify the best options for societal action. The development of effective strategies for climate protection and adaptation requires interdisciplinary cooperation. The Working Group Climate Change was founded in 2008 to promote such cooperation within our division and to strengthen our consulting capacities.

Dealing with questions of climate protection and adaptation, the working group builds bridges between the single research fields; it informs about current and possible future projects, topics and issues regarding climate change and discusses them. Furthermore, it is a platform for consulting activities in which UFZ’s social sciences engage in order to support the German government, federal states and local communities that are trying to set up integrated climate protection and adaptation concepts. We see our combined interdisciplinary expertise as a particular potential in this field.

Our activities therefore focus on the climate protection and adaptation strategies and the corresponding programmes of the European Union, Germany, the federal states and local communities. We monitor and support the current processes of strategy shaping and the development of measures and instruments on a broad interdisciplinary basis.

Examples for contributions to the development of such strategies and instruments are the two studies realised within the PEER initiative comparing the national adaptation strategies of the EU’s member states (PEER 1a) and investigating the development of strategies for a climate-policy integration (PEER 2), the study on The need for legal actions for adaptation to the results of climate change, the Synkon project conducted for the Federal Enviroment Agency to support the development of a national action plan for the German Adaptation Strategy, and the participation in Klimzug Northern Hesse – a project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.