Press release 94/22 - 17.11.2022

Researchers from the Centre for Climate Resilience at the UN Climate Conference COP27

Augsburg researchers working in climate science, climate politics and environmental medicine share their views on COP27

Researchers from various disciplines at the Centre for Climate Resilience are represented at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Alongside official negotiations, the conference provides researchers with the opportunity to present their research and network with other international climate-related experts. Climate scientist Prof. Dr Harald Kunstmann and political scientist Prof. Dr Angela Oels were on site in Sharm El Sheikh, while environmental health expert, Prof. Dr Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, participated digitally. All three contributed insights gained from interdisciplinary climate resilience research conducted at the University of Augsburg.

© University of Augsburg

The UN Climate Change Conference COP27 is focused on the implementation of agreed targets set in Paris in 2015 and in Glasgow in 2021. The commitment to over €100 billion per year from 2020 to 2025 for the reduction of carbon emissions and the development of adaptation measures needs to be honoured. For the first time, financial compensation for damages and losses suffered as a result of climate change is on the agenda. National climate protection targets are also under scrutiny. Yet current global political developments present a difficult starting point for global climate negotiations. Only a day before the end of the conference and hardly any tangible results are in sight; failure or formulaic compromises are therefore a real possibility.

“The success of the conference should not be measured by the results of the negotiations alone,” says Prof. Dr Harald Kunstmann. “Real success or failure can only be measured in several years’ time, which means via the reduction or further increase in greenhouse gas emissions. COP27 is also about exchanging new methods for climate protection and communicating across national borders, cultures and national self-interest.” In Sharm El Sheikh, Kunstmann presented his research on the proactive management of water resources by means of seasonal forecasts, demonstrating their now greatly improved forecasting ability, and discussed different options for implementation.

The political scientist Prof. Dr Angela Oels is researching why climate negotiations are only making progress in “small steps.” Reaching an agreement is made more difficult by the very different understandings of justice between the Global North and the Global South. “Countries of the Global South are demanding that the industrialised countries be held financially responsible for their historical emissions, while the countries of the Global North are only prepared—if at all—to make voluntary payments for damages and losses.” But there is also disagreement between the North and South when it comes to reducing emissions: “From the perspective of countries in the Global South, energy production must be decarbonised at the same time as global inequality and energy poverty are overcome,” says Oels.

Political scientist Prof. Dr Angela Oels is researching different understandings of justice between the Global North and Global South at the world climate change conference.

Environmental health expert Prof. Dr Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann presented her research online at a meeting of the European Allergist Association in the Health Pavilion of the World Health Organisation (WHO). In view of the impact of climate change on health, she is calling for the expansion of early warning systems on pollen counts for allergy sufferers. “We have to move from the facts of science to action. What we have to do is clear—we just have to do it now—together.”
Researcher perspectives are needed in order to transform the results of climate change research into political action. 

Centre for Climate Resilience

The Centre for Climate Resilience was founded at the University of Augsburg in 2020 with the aim of coordinating and bringing together all research activities across the university’s faculties that focus on climate resilience. These existing competences will be supplemented by ten new professorships to be appointed in a wide range of disciplines. More specifically, the centre aims to develop holistic and implementable strategies for adapting to the inevitable consequences of climate change at regional, national and international levels. The key pillars for achieving this goal are the promotion of interdisciplinary exchange and the transfer of scientific findings in dialogue with politics and society.

Scientific contact

Chair Holder
Regional Climate and Hydrology
Political Science with a specialization in climate politics
Head of Chair of Environmental Medicine

Media contact

Michael Hallermayer
Deputy Media Officer
Communications and Media Relations