№ 260/2010 from Aug 18, 2010
The Berlin Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change to be held on October 8th and 9th at Freie Universität will address the social dimensions of environmental change and governance. The public conference series, organized by the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) at Freie Universität Berlin and Vrije Universtiteit Amsterdam, is taking place for the tenth time in 2010. It is expected to attract about 400 experts from academia, research, business, and politics. This includes the current EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, and Integration, Laszlo Andor, and former Environment Minister and Executive Director of UNEP, Professor Klaus Töpfer, presently the director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) founded in 2009 in Potsdam.
“The conference series is designed to focus social science research on global change,” says Dr. Klaus Jacob, a research director at FFU and coordinator of the conference. “The program makes reference to current political debates and aims to contribute to issues in research and setting research.”
What are the effects of climate change on the social and economic contexts of individual regions or states? This is one of the issues to be addressed at the conference. On the one hand, the North-South perspective will be considered: What effects, for example, do severe environmental changes have on the economies of developing countries? The socio-economic aspects for the industrial countries will also be examined: Are certain income groups particularly strained by the environmental tax, and what effect does this have? What would the consequences mean for economic structural change, if renewable energy sources would benefit more than traditional sectors such as the automotive industry?
The conference is intended to serve as a platform where the latest research can be presented, possible strategies discussed, and networks formed between experts and decision makers. It is addressed to political scientists and experts of neighboring disciplines such as economics, sociology, or law, as well as representatives from international research institutions, the economy, or politics.
The conference series was initiated in 2001 by Dr. Klaus Jacob and Frank Biermann, professor of political science and environmental policy at Vrije Universtiteit Amsterdam. The conferences are held annually, alternating between Berlin and Amsterdam. Cooperation partners include the German Development Institute and the German Research Foundation (DFG).