Climate Protection: How to change our way of life?

The latest IPCC-Special Report (link like the ones before has shown that governments, companies, and people around the world are not doing enough to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Most people probably think about renewable energy and phasing-out coal when they hear climate protection. But electricity generation is by far not the only source of CO2 and CO2 is not the single greenhouse gas.

All sectors, all producers and all consumers contribute to global emissions. In agriculture, gases like methane and nitrogen oxide are emitted by animal husbandry and farming. In manufacturing, energy and materials are used. We are heating our homes with oil or gas. Fossil fuels move us places via cars, planes and trains.

Solutions to bring emissions down to zero by mid-century are needed everywhere. But why is it so hard? What are the main barriers to reducing emissions? How can policies, governmental and private initiatives change the trajectory? What can be ways to increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and help society to keep global warming below 1.5°C?

Scientific Partner:

Author of the topic:

Christine Merk

Christine Merk works as a postdoctoral researcher in the research areas The Environment and Natural Resources and Social and Behavioral Approaches to Global Problems. One of her main research interests are individuals’ trade-offs between mitigation and climate engineering technologies. She conducts economic experiments integrating concepts from the psychology of risk perception to learn more about individuals’ perceptions of and reactions to climate engineering. In May 2018 she was a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program.

Furthermore, she researches the effects of nudging interventions on climate-friendly meal choices in field experiments. Since 2019 she also part of the coordination team of the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change which was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to stimulate the exchange between economists and societal stakeholders about climate change.

Her background is in policy analysis and administration science (University of Konstanz and Rutgers University), and she holds a PhD in Economics from Kiel University

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