Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Economic Structures
Climate change has serious ecological, social, and economic impacts. Meeting global and national targets to limit global warming can only succeed with sustainable structures in all sectors of the economy. This applies to agriculture, industry, transport, and buildings, among other things. Here, both the private sector, i.e., companies and households, and the government are called upon. In general, the government sets the framework, for example by an ecological design of the tax system or via market interventions to correct market failures, for example by assigning a price to environmental use or pollution.
The government's options for action may involve public infrastructure to enable sustainable mobility and a renewable energy supply or ensuring the availability of critical raw materials. It can also mean accelerating the diffusion of energy and environmental innovations to make companies at the same time more climate-friendly and competitive. A particularly important aspect here is making households and companies resilient to shocks. This applies to climate- and environment-related events such as floods, heat waves or droughts, but also to economic developments such as disruptions to critical infrastructure, as well as social inequalities and demographic change. Evidence-based and strategically coherent policy measures are becoming increasingly important to establish sustainable structures.
The research group conducts interdisciplinary research on topics such as:
- Identification and analysis of determinants of economic growth and resilience.
- Influence of the energy transition from fossil to renewable energy sources on the labour market, demand for skilled labour and productivity
- Economic competitiveness and structural change
- Economic, environmental, and social impacts of policy measures or investment projects
- Interactions between climate change, economy, and society (especially measures to avoid and mitigate economic and social impacts and adaptation)
- Energy policy and infrastructure issues
- Analysis of environmental effects on the economy and society, e.g., pollutant emissions, land and resource consumption.
The methods used by the group include applied econometrics, time series models, structural macroeconomic models, qualitative analyses, methods from the field of operations research, multi-regional, environmentally extended input-output analysis or dynamic eco-efficiency analyses.