Hertie School gets 1.3 million euros from German research ministry (BMBF) to advance climate-neutral policies

The Ariadne “Kopernikus” project involves 26 leading research institutions from around Europe.

The Hertie School, alongside other European research institutions, will provide policy advice and governance options to help further the European energy transition and help make Germany climate-neutral by 2050. Supported by the German research ministry (BMBF) through the Ariadne “Kopernikus” project, the Hertie School will receive 1.3 million euros over three years as part of the 30-million-euro initiative.

The Kopernikus projects make up one of the largest research initiatives in Germany focused on the energy transition and on reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. Ariadne is one of four Kopernikus projects, along with ENSURE, P2X and SynErgy. Hertie School researchers aim to assess the impact of different policies and develop practical recommendations for policy makers to achieve climate-friendly change across the energy system – be it in power generation, heat, transport or industry.

Led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), the Hertie School joins this ambitious endeavour under the guidance of Christian Flachsland, Professor of Sustainability, and Lion Hirth, Assistant Professor of Governance of Digitalisation and Energy Policy. In addition, there are four postdoctoral positions at the Hertie School to work on Ariadne over the course of three years.

“Ariadne perfectly aligns with the mission of the Hertie School: Developing cutting-edge academic insights and engaging in a dialogue with societal, business and government stakeholders to help solving key societal challenges,” says Flachsland, who is also part of the Ariadne Steering Committee. “We will analyse the institutional design of Energiewende and EU climate governance, on the optimal climate policy mix, electricity market design, and the global context of German and EU climate policy.”

“Climate targets alone do not guarantee success; concrete measures are needed to achieve them”, says Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of PIK and MCC and head of the Kopernikus project Ariadne. “This is precisely where Ariadne comes in, providing an overview and pointing out pathways to navigate through the complex challenges of the energy transition. In short – we'll be providing decision-makers with vital knowledge on the way to a climate-neutral Germany.”

Ariadne findings and results will be made available continuously throughout the entirety of the project in the form of policy briefs, dossiers, background papers, visualisations and interactive platforms.

You can find more information about the project here.


More about the researchers

  • Christian Flachsland , Professor of Sustainability | Director, Centre for Sustainability
  • Lion Hirth , Assistant Professor of Governance of Digitalisation and Energy Policy