Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy
Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A.
Missing German and EU climate targets is not embarrassing - it is contrary to international and human rights. Even the unambitious targets themselves are illegal; all the more so their misconduct. More on this in our new legal opinion on the Paris Agreement here.
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.
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 in general, 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.
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.
Since 2007, Felix Ekardt has given speeches and presentations on some 60 international conferences on questions of sustainability, climate change, justice, human rights, phosphorus scarcity, land-use, etc. For details and also for forthcoming speeches, see the list of presentations.
When does the order of our living together deserve that we call it ‘just’? Is it at all possible to speak of ‘right’ norms/ goals/ evaluations? Or are they (and hence justice) merely a subjective matter of taste; a social construction; a cultural-relative given; an unjustified metaphysical-religious assertion; or a metaphor for maximizing individual utility? And what constitutes just balances between competing interests? Finally, which changes are required from our grown understanding of liberty to conform to sustainability? These and similar fundamental questions constitute an essential kernel of moral philosophy and legal theory.
Basis rights and human rights are a central issue of a universal theory of justice as well as written national, European and international law. It is therefore a matter of a correct understanding of freedom, the right weighing theory and the right interpretation of those legal norms. The Research Unit generally combines in its work on normative issues analysis of both justice philosophy and legal dimensions.
In 2016, the third edition of “Theory on sustainability” (German: „Theorie der Nachhaltigkeit: Rechtliche, ethische und politische Zugänge - am Beispiel von Klimawandel, Ressourcenknappheit und Welthandel“) by Felix Ekardt was published. The habilitation monography offers a broad approach on the basics of justice and sustainability, theory of human rights, on origins of lacking sustainability and effective climate and resource policy.
Downloadable texts in English: