Climate protection and energy transition have the best chances of success if they are also socially sustainable.
Climate protection and energy transition have the best chances of success if they are also socially sustainable. Shutterstock/Chinnapong

Headline: Social Sustainability of Climate Action and Energy Transitions

This research is underpinned by the realization that as well as contributing towards efforts to protect the climate, energy transitions can yield a host of other dividends. They offer opportunities to initiate ambitious societal transformations and unlock previously untapped social and economic potentials. The opportunities of the global energy transition include local value creation and new employment opportunities, broader access to energy, the mitigation of conflicts over scarce water resources, and public health gains as a result of improved air quality.

In light of this, many countries are already using renewables to address urgent challenges. But the full potential of renewables is yet to be fully explored. The research group "Social and Economic Opportunities of the Energy Transition" analyses these so-called co-benefits and identifies barriers to their mobilisation. The work of this research group supports partner countries in achieving their goals with renewable energies and fostering a just energy transition.

Completed Projects

Kopernikus Project Ariadne

The guiding principle of the Ariadne joint project is to provide an overview and orientation for the design and implementation of the energy transition through excellent research in a joint learning process with politics, business, and society. The aim of the project is to create an overarching perspective, analyze the impact of policy instruments and identify a whole range of possible policy options for shaping the energy transition in Germany.

A Democratic Culture of Conflict for the Energy Transition

This three-year project examines conflicts and cultures of conflict resolution in connection with the German energy transition. Researchers are studying the dynamics and drivers of these conflicts and threats they pose to democratic culture. The project focuses in particular on the role of populist narratives and attitudes, which are increasingly common in debates about Energiewende projects.


Mobilising the Multiple Opportunities of Renewable Energies

Together with many of Germany's partner countries in the area of energy and climate policy, this project is carrying out country-specific analyses of the social and economic potentials of an ambitious climate protection programme based on renewable energies. Policy instruments are also being developed to realise these potentials.