With all eyes on the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, COP26, the INU member universities are playing their part in helping the next generation look for innovative solutions to complex issues and taking forward collaborative projects to work towards fair and equitable transition to climate neutrality.

The Sustainability Innovation Challenge
Students at Kingston University (UK) are taking action, tackling climate change issues via a hackathon (a problem-solving workshop) as part of the Sustainability Innovation Challenge. In their teams, students from a range of disciplines, will address climate change challenges, coming up with their own creative solutions to present at a showcase of ideas.  Read more about previous the sustainability hackathon which took place earlier this year.
The Economics of Climate Change
At European University Viadrina (Germany), Prof. Dr. Reimund Schwarze teaches a course on “The Economics of Climate Change” for Masters’ students in economics.  The integrated lecture (Lecture with seminar elements) provides an introduction into management strategies to tackle global climate change. Special attention is given to international policy issues, following the “breakdown” of Kyoto-type models in Copenhagen (COP15).  Currently, Prof. Schwarze attends the COP26 in Glasgow and tweets regularly from the conference (Twitter: @RSchwarze).  Further information on Prof. Dr. Reimund Schwarze’s research interest and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.
Consumer Ownership in the Renewable Energy Sector

Also at European University Viadrina (Germany), Prof. Dr. Jens Lowitzsch coordinates the H2020 project SCORE, which deals with consumer ownership in the renewable energy sector. The project’s final conference will be held online from 17 – 18 November 2021. The project is also planning two workshops in December.

Transition to a Just European Circular Society proposal (TRAJECT)

The Kelso Professorship as coordinator has just submitted the Horizon Europe proposal „TRAJECT“ under the Just Transition Call; at European University Viadrina the proposal was developed jointly with Reimund Schwarze and Phillipp Otto.

TRAJECT supports a fair and equitable transition to climate neutrality along the three Tenets of Transitional Justice: distribution, recognition, and procedure. Following their logic requires: firstly to analyse the de facto distributional effects; secondly, understanding justice as recognition to detect whom this transition mostly affects by analysing subjective perceptions and objective capabilities; thirdly, based on best practice to foster procedural justice by developing strategies for active empowerment of those most at risk of being “left behind”.

Energy Transitions 5: Fostering a just transition in Europe

Prof. Lowitzsch is offering an interdisciplinary seminar titled “Energy Transitions 5: Fostering a just transition in Europe” for students of Economics, Law and European Studies at Viadrina.

The course gives an overview of the issues relating to transitional justice concerns with a focus on the twin transitions Energy and Digitisation. The shift to renewables and increased energy efficiency is tied into a social transition affecting society asymmetrically and producing uneven outcomes. A key question of the seminar will therefore be how to understand energy justice and a „just transition“. This includes distributional effects, affected individuals, and empowerment strategies. It places a special emphasis on the formation of renewable energy communities newly introduced in the CEP and social / behavioural aspects of digitisation. Both aspects will play a vital role in the ongoing transition from a rigid and centralized to a decentralized and sustainable energy system based on renewable sources.