Show feasible paths

With its own scientific assessment reports, issued in collaboration with international partner institutions and social groups, the MCC wishes to introduce innovative parameters at the interface between science, politics and society. MCC assessment reports analyze alternative courses of action for the governance of the global commons and the associated critical trade-offs.

MCC staff are also involved in the production of a number of assessment reports together with other institutions. For example, Ottmar Edenhofer, in his capacity as co-chair of IPCC WG III, coordinated the development of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of WG III, assisted by Felix Creutzig, Michael Jakob, Jan Steckel, Christoph von Stechow and Christian Flachsland. Blanca Fernandez and Felix Creutzig will moreover be co-authoring the Second Assessment Report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network. They examine how climate protection in cities impacts equality and how an eco-friendly urban design may affect the prices of rents. Within the Euro-CASE Energy Platform MCC researchers in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) seek to identify new paths to reforms of the European carbon trading system EU ETS. They examine its main current and future challenges and how the system influences, and is influenced by, other government policies, such as the promotion of renewable energies.

Another recent example of MCC involvement in the production of assessment reports is the Institute’s cooperation with The New Climate Economy, aka the Calderón Commission. The Commission, for which MCC Director Ottmar Edenhofer participates in the Economic Advisory Panel, has the aim to identify and communicate the economic benefits and costs of a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In all of these cases, MCC researchers see their role as being a cartographer. In other words, they show the opportunities and risks of feasible paths in policy, while recognizing that the navigation must come from politics itself.