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.
The chief objective of the 21st century is the idea of a durable and globally practicable way of life, namely in a political, moral, and legal sense. The concept of ‘sustainability’ represents just this idea. The most important field of action is climate change. Unlike anything before, it threatens our very existence, our economic system, and peace. In the same breath, it puts our moral convictions to the test.
Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A., professor for public law and legal philosophy at the University of Rostock (faculty of law), and his Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy, situated in Leipzig, with its approx. 15 members do research in this field.
The research unit dedicates its time to research, education, projects, and policy consulting concerning
A centre of gravity is the law of climate protection and climate policy on a global, European, and national level. On one hand, the focus lies on the analysis of existing legal frameworks and the political instruments. On the other hand, we concentrate on the development of reform alternatives. Among others, we develop options which are located outside the current main-stream. Alternative, inconvenient, innovative, and trans-disciplinary solutions are our central concern. Thus, we intentionally draw a certain dividing line toward often usual political advisory work and third-party funded research.
An important aspect of our climate social science approach lies in linking climate protection law with a philosophical theory of climate justice but also with approaches from the social sciences or economics – or even historical sciences and religious studies. Moreover, we are particularly interested on complex interdisciplinary approaches that explain the hitherto lacking practical implementation of the sustainability ideal and on conceptions that promise a remedy. Insofar we also criticize some current background assumption found in environmental ethics, environmental social sciences, and environmental economics. This promises important insights for the subjects: climate and law, justice and law, and sustainability and law. By the way, this implies some scepticism on the leading role of economics in climate discourse.
At the University of Rostock, Felix Ekardt and his research unit are associated with the Ostseeinstitut für Seerecht, Umweltrecht und Infrastrukturrecht.