Policy Unit

The Policy Unit is a cross-sectional unit. It offers comprehensive analyses of policy developments and the public discourse, and develops strategic inputs based on the scientific expertise of MCC and in close coordination with its working groups. The unit’s main task is to strategically orientate the interface between the institute, politics and society, as well as develop its content.


Head: Ann-Katrin Schenk
Deputy head:  Katja Treichel-Grass

Maria Bader
Julia Epp
Niklas Illenseer
Ellen Lindner-Rhinow
Laura Ortlofff
Dr. Artur Runge-Metzger
Johannes Zagorni
Marie Zeller


Task and approach

The MCC Policy Unit is centered on the idea that science must acknowledge the decision-making problem of politics – i.e. how to manage trade-offs between conflicting goals. One objective should always be: What do decision makers want to know? Meanwhile, the political and public debate should be proactively shaped based on scientific evidence, following the premise of what should decision makers know? Accordingly, the Policy Analysis Unit compiles scientific evidence based on the methods of research synthesis and processes scientific results to accommodate this specific target group. Formats offered for example include policy briefs or media commentaries.

The team also develops own analytical instruments and online tools to this end. It builds on and develops formats such as briefings or policy dialogues to understand policy processes and connect them to related scientific discourses. The goal is to anticipate public debates addressing “Climate, economics, and social justice” and proactively shape these debates based on scientific insights. These activities are underpinned by MCC’s concept of a deliberative democratic learning process wherein a multitude of societal groups discusses policy alternatives.



The Policy Unit organizes and promotes the science-policy dialogue within the comprehensive research project Ariadne, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This project investigates which policy instruments are suitable to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Together with actors from politics, economy and society, Ariadne conducts an evidence-based assessment in order to develop an improved scientific foundation for the transformation of the energy system.

Furthermore, the Policy Unit realizes structured dialogue forums on topics such as the “Introduction of a carbon pricing scheme in Germany“, “Reform of the property tax in Germany”, or “Reform of the European Emissions Trading System”. The team is currently also contributing to the dialogue on climate economics. Here, knowledge transfer and exchange between researchers and policy makers is extended and intensified by purposefully communicating results of the program “Economics of Climate Change II” funded by BMBF.