Coming through the pandemic the right way up

Andrew Norton
14.05.2020

The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet clear. We don’t know how long it will last, how it will end or even how it is distributed geographically. Through the suffering and disruption of daily lives it forces us to imagine the world in new ways.

Global cooperation was already under immense stress and there is a clear possibility that nationalist, xenophobic politics could damage the chances for an effective response. But there is another way.

Keeping all the balls in the air. The pandemic has proved the importance of early action. However hard it may be for governments to focus on multiple challenges, the worst thing that could happen is to put action on climate and

Andrew Norton

International Institute for Environment and Development
Andrew Norton is director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). He is an applied anthropologist working on a range of...

The coronavirus pandemic and protecting the climate – some discussion points

Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher
Dr. Oliver Foltin
Dr. Volker Teichert
11.05.2020

It is already clear: Covid-19 is going to change the world. The consequences of the uncontrolled spreading of the virus are so dramatic that at least for now, many societies have accepted changes and restrictions to their everyday lives that they would otherwise have considered inconceivable. In recent weeks, it has also become clear that the poorest countries, and the poorer sections of the population in particular, have been hit the hardest by the crisis. This is something that the coronavirus has in common with the climate crisis. In general, two different approaches seem possible for returning to a situation of “normality” in the world after the coronavirus:

  • an almost …

Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher

Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research (FEST)
born 1954 in Mannheim, married, one son; studied economics at the universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg and Kassel, senior researcher at FEST since...

Dr. Oliver Foltin

Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research (FEST)
Oliver Foltin, economist, is associate director and researcher at the Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research in Heidelberg (FEST). His...

Dr. Volker Teichert

Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research (FEST)
Volker Teichert, economist and pedagogue, senior researcher at the Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research in Heidelberg (FEST), project...

Changing direction rather than ramping things up

Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie
07.05.2020

I sit by the roadside.
The driver changes the wheel.
I do not like the place I have come from.
I do not like the place I am going to.
Why with impatience do I watch him changing the wheel?

Bertolt Brecht, 1953

Ramping things up: after the initial horror of the coronavirus crisis, the realists who want to offset possible deaths caused by the pandemic against the certain losses due to the crisis and revive “the economy” are breaking their cover. Ramping things up: like a blast furnace after a breakdown in its operations, a stalled engine, or stepping back on the accelerator after a speed limit. The idea is to return to the same direction and the same speed before, with the same …

Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie

University of Giessen
Claus Leggewie teaches political science and is holding the Ludwig Boerne Chair at Giessen University. Until 2017 he was director of the...

Sustainability has a solid record as a paradigm of resilience and growth

Ursula Mathar
30.04.2020

The coronavirus crisis has had a global impact on economic and social life. Supply chains have been disrupted, travel has been cancelled, life has slowed down. It is clear, however, that solutions are being developed in the economy at speed. econsense believes that this crisis doesn’t have to be a breaking point, but an opportunity for sustainability - as long as we take the following three points into account:

Firstly, sustainability has long since ceased to be a fair-weather project, it is the key to the future viability and resilience of business models. Many businesses had already recognised this and actively implemented it before the coronavirus.

Secondly, the current “crisis …

Ursula Mathar

econsense - Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.
Ursula Mathar is the BMW Group Vice President Sustainability. She is responsible for the companies’ sustainability strategy and steering of...

COVID-19 stimulus packages represent a critical juncture for climate policy

Nicolas Schmid
29.04.2020

Governments around the world have implemented strong, science-based measures against the spread of COVID-19, ranging from border closures to the lockdown of approximately one-third of the world population. As a result, economic activity of most sectors and countries abruptly and strongly decreased. To prevent a global economic and social crisis, governments around the world have proposed massive stimulus programs. For instance, the US Congress has enacted a program worth $2 trillion. The German government approved an unlimited supply of business loans and a crisis fund of €600 billion. In Switzerland, the government introduced an aid package of CHF 42 billion. While these stimulus programs …

Nicolas Schmid

ETH Zürich
Nicolas Schmid is currently finalizing his PhD thesis in the Energy Politics Group at ETH Zurich. His research focuses on how technological change...