This working group analyzes options for governing the global commons. It focuses on actors and institutions relevant to climate policy at multiple levels (e.g., international, national, subnational). In doing so, the researchers analyze policy instruments with the aim to identify politically feasible short-term policy entry points into sustainable long-term decarbonization pathways.
Leitung: Prof. Dr. Christian Flachsland
The group’s research focuses on the institutional requirements for achieving the 2°C target. Key questions are: How can the Paris Agreement be developed further to gradually increase the level of ambition of national climate policies? Which policy options lead to ambitious decarbonization pathways in multi-level governance settings? How should optimal carbon prices be designed in the context of the Social Cost of Carbon? How can the interests of different actor groups be taken into account? The team also investigates how discourses in politics, science and society interact with processes of political change. Their methods include institutional analyses, analytical and numerical modeling, case studies and discourse analyses.
At the international level, the researchers analyze how transfer payments from multilateral funds (such as the Green Climate Fund) can be designed to strengthen cooperation within the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the group studies how inequality influences the level of the Social Cost of Carbon. The AHEAD project, for example, compares political and economic experiences with the introduction of ambitious climate policy in Germany and California. The group collaborates with researchers from Resources for the Future, UC Berkeley and PIK. Furthermore, the team investigates carbon pricing instruments. One focus is the European Emissions Trading System and possible reform options such as a minimum price. In the context of the German-Australian START project, the scientists analyze the political economy of the energy transition within the multi-level system of the European Union and Germany in a dynamic perspective (policy sequencing). Another research interest in this project is the long-term development of political discourses around climate, coal and energy.