International PhD Workshop at the Freie Universität Berlin
Young researchers from 20 universities exchange on environment, energy and climate
How to govern the German Energiewende? What will be the democratic challenges of the climate crisis? And what can social science researchers contribute to debates on environmental policy around the world? These and other questions were discussed between young researchers at the International FFU PhD Workshop “Environment.Energy.Climate.” The workshop was held between the 6th and 7th of June 2014 in Dahlem, organized by the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) of the Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with the Helmholtz Allianz ENERGY TRANS. More than 40 young researchers from about 20 different universities - in Berlin, Sydney, Lund, Barcelona and other places - took the chance to present their current work related to environment, energy or climate research. Their contributions covered a broad range of topics and were divided into panels on the German Energiewende, the role of the local level, renewable energies international, as well as climate and governance issues.
Despite this diversity, the participants used the conference for active questions and answers and further discussed experiences, challenges and potential collaborations during coffee breaks and other opportunities. Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Head of FFU and Professor for Comparative Politics, opened the workshop with an encouragement for all the participants: “Governance issues related to environment, energy and climate are currently a hot topic. There is a strong need for further research especially from social science”, Prof. Schreurs said in her welcome address.
In the course of the workshop Prof. Dr. Frank Fischer from Rutgers University gave an inspiring keynote speech on questions of democracy arising from the climate crisis. Interesting insights into the discourse on the German Renewable Energy Act were given by Prof. Dr. Volkmar Lauber from the University of Salzburg in another keynote speech.
At the end and after two days of discussion and exchange the workshop was closed with a strong wish: to meet again next year for another PhD conference on environment, energy and climate.