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.
It is key challenge of the 21st century to achieve a way of life and economy which is sustainable in the long-term and globally. Sustainability has not yet been implemented sufficiently in crucial issues such as energy, climate, resources or eco systems. The Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy is based in Leipzig and Berlin and works on projects for public and non-profit clients (including legal assessment) and does intensive basic research on sustainability, which is reflected in numerous publications. Equally important roles are assumed by policy consulting outside of specific projects, many lectures and presentations (partially at universities), as well as media work. Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A. is founder and director of the Research Unit. He is external Professor for public law and legal philosophy at Rostock University. Issues of the Research Unit are:
The Research Unit sends out a newsletter with our recent projects, articles, lectures and conferences around 5-6 times a year in German. An English version is sent out approximately once a year to colleagues. Follow Felix Ekardt on Twitter and Facebook to see his comments in interesting recent developments. In the German media, we publish statements to our work some 40 times per year (see German version of this website).
The Research Unit gives presentations on a number of international and interdisciplinary conferences and events. It also organizes frequently public events, among others on energy law and energy politics in Berlin twice a year with a partner law firm specialized in energy law.
Main concern is for us to develop surprising, transdisciplinary, high quality, independent and at times quite uncomfortable analysis and approaches for solutions that go beyond common patterns. In order to preserve scientific independence, we draw a line between us and other (oftentimes originally alternative thinking) institutes, which have acquired a far-reaching dependency on governments and corporations due to their cost structures. They are therefore committed to mainstream concepts and euphemistic perspectives, which will not entirely meet the requirements of a serious sustainability. The perspective of sustainability human science is essential to us, for example the connection between analysis of climate policy instruments and theories of justice based on human rights and ethics. And also the relation to sociological and economic – sometimes even approaches from history or religious science. We are particularly interested in complex interdisciplinary approaches, which help to explain why so far the idea of sustainability has not been sufficiently implemented – and help to provide concepts solving those deficiencies. Sometimes, we criticize common fundamental assumptions in environmental ethics, environmental sociology and environmental economics; we are also involved in the degrowth debate.
Felix Ekardt and the majority of members of the Research Unit are also involved with the faculty of law, of agriculture and environment or the Science Campus Phosphorus Research of Rostock University. Furthermore, Felix Ekardt was up to fall 2015 long-term fellow at Research Institute for Philosophy Hanover (FIPH). The Research Unit maintains a co-operation with the law firm von Bredow Valentin Herz, among others by using the same venue and jointly organizing our Berlin Conferences on Energy. The Research Unit works in co-operation with several public institutions, universities, foundations, NGOs nationally and internationally from different backgrounds to produce studies, conferences, presentations, publications etc. The following pages reflect on some of these.