Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy
Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A.
During the last years, the Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy has done a lot of research on questions of phosphorus and scarcity of natural resources, as well as on land-use and climate change - from a transdisciplinary point of view. See, among other papers, here.
Since 2007, Felix Ekardt has given speeches and presentations on some 50 international conferences on questions of sustainability, climate change, justice, human rights, phosphorus scarcity, land-use, etc. For details and also for forthcoming speeches, see the list of presentations.
The Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy has done a lot of research on the normative grounds of sustainability - respectively on the theoretical basis of both ethics and law. The most informative is the big German volume "Theorie der Nachhaltigkeit", but there is also a number of English papers. See, among other papers, here.
For a long time, the critique of central background assumptions of environmental economics and approaches of environmental sociology has been on the agenda of the research group. Climate change serves as an example. We aim at showing that cost-benefit-analyses, which economists use to ‘calculate’ the optimal climate policy (as they do it in other policy areas), are structurally insufficient. Hence, they are often unable to fulfil their promises regarding scientific insights. Climate economics gives the impression of being rational. Yet it cannot satisfy this demand because it inserts inaccurate or substantially incomplete normative and descriptive assumptions into their efficiency calculations, among others:
These aspects point beyond climate economics and constitute a general critique of environmental economics' main-stream (and partly alternative) approaches and traditional economical axioms. In the same breath, a certain, arbitrary conception of ‘ethics’ or ‘theory of justice’, which is typical for many branches of the social sciences, is critically discussed.
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