MCC (contact info here) combines high-level economic and social science analyses with a structured approach at the science-policy interface. We provide solution-oriented policy portfolios for climate mitigation, for governing the global commons in general, and for enhancing the many aspects of human well-being. Internally, we are committed to a working and interpersonal culture of diversity, tolerance, and equal opportunity.
The climate crisis, which is one of humankind’s greatest problems, is part of a complex challenge. It is necessary to avoid the overuse of natural resources that are relevant to the world as a whole, such as the atmosphere, land and forests (global commons). And at the same time, we must ensure sufficient supply of social commons, i.e. infrastructure of education, health, and transport, for example. Both of these require a farsighted and international view, which governments and other societal actors often lack. As a scientific think tank, MCC helps to close this gap. We explore solutions, advise policy-makers, and foster open (deliberative) debate across society. Our priority is fair access to natural and social commons, both for today’s and future generations.
Our starting point is the "Climate & The Economy" perspective. We simultaneously explore two inherently different, and to some extent contradictory, aspects. Economic growth has brought prosperity and lifted many people out of poverty, but it has also led to overuse of the global commons and insufficient provision of social commons. To address this conflict, it is crucial to understand the economic drivers, the mechanisms of income and wealth distribution, and the political economy of countries and companies. We need policy options that can both stop global heating and enhance prosperity and human well-being.
Our work is based on peer-reviewed publications: MCC scientists publish at a particularly high frequency in internationally renowned journals, which in 2017 led to MCC being ranked as Europe’s best performing climate research institute relative to its size. Drawing on high-level research, MCC develops solutions for the governance of global commons, specifically for solving the climate crisis, and discusses these with policymakers. Our primary focus is on the conceptual design of policies with a long-term perspective rather than day-to-day politics.
We target a broad spectrum of decision-makers at national, European and global levels, as well as international organisations, companies, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Our research is mainly rooted in economics, but draws on disciplinary knowledge from philosophy, political science, and other social sciences. It applies a broad range of methods, including empirical and theoretical analyses. MCC is not constrained by sectional interests or pre-determined outcomes in its choice of research topics and in the provision of its expertise.
MCC was founded in 2012 by Stiftung Mercator and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as a non-profit company (gGmbH). It is currently funded through core funding by Stiftung Mercator of 2.2 million euros per year on average, and project-related third-party funding, which totalled 1.4 million euros in 2020. Staffing reached about 65 employees in 2018, representing a total of 35 full-time equivalents, and numbers have stabilised at that level since then. Our economic and social science research is organised around seven working groups plus the cross-sectional Policy Evaluation Lab. The interface with politics (policy dialogue) is shaped by a Policy Unit. Important prerequisites for the successful interaction of research and policy dialogue are MCC's distinctive competencies in the areas of evidence synthesis and ethics.
For download: Detailed information can be found in our Report to the Expert Advisory Board dating from 2020 (English, 1.8 MB).