Chairs at the CCR

The Chair for Urban Climate Resilience is researching the question of how to design climate-resilient municipalities (cities, communities, districts). In this context, climate resilience refers to reducing social vulnerability and to strengthening social resilience in dealing with the consequences of climate change.

 

Climate resilience combines measures to adapt to the consequences of climate change (adaptation) and to combat its causes (mitigation). For municipalities, efforts must focus on those social groups most vulnerable, such as the elderly, chronically ill, and the socio-economically marginalised. Fundamentally, climate resilience entails the search for new forms of coexistence and economic activity that sustain the well-being of all while preserving the conditions of our common livelihood on earth.

 

At the Chair for Urban Climate Resilience, Prof. Dr. Markus Keck and his team are currently working on the following three core areas:

 

  1. Urban environments
     
    What forms of social marginalization and ecological pollution are currently shaping municipalities? How can cities be reconceptualised in such a way that protects all inhabitants from the impacts of extreme weather events and strengthens healthy environments?
  2. Climate and conflicts
     
    Which social lines of conflict are intensified by the current climate crisis and which political powers profit from this? How can social structures be developed that prevent violent conflict, foster social coherence, and enable the maintenance of our democracy?
  3.  Urban food systems
     
    What social structures shape current food systems and what are the ecological consequences? How can urban food systems be transformed so that all people have sufficient access to healthy and sustainable food?

 

The Chair for Urban Climate Resilience is an active part of the Institute of Geography at the University of Augsburg.

 

The team at the Chair of Resilient Operations researches sustainable and resilient concepts in supply chain management and logistics, as well as other areas of application in operations research. Due to climate-induced changes, permanent adaptation processes are needed in operational and public sectors. The chair is concerned with the question of how (innovative) concepts in the above areas can be implemented and improved in order to ensure the efficient use of available resources and the development of sustainable solutions. Through national and international cooperations with universities and companies we are working on application-orientated research projects using quantitative methods (operations research, data- and simulation-based optimisation). The chair offers an international and interdisciplinary working environment at the Centre for Climate Resilience.

The chair’s main areas of research include the following:

 

  1. Sustainable food supply chains
     
    Manufacturing and further processing, transport, including the sale of food, is the cause of a large number of emissions. This is all the more serious when food has to be disposed of due to spoilage or other factors, such that products are essentially produced for waste. We are concerned with the question of how food supply chains can be sustainably designed so as to withstand environmental influences using limited resources. This begins with agricultural activities, which are frequently affected by the impacts of climate change. At the other end of the spectrum, is the avoidance of excess food supply, and therefore the avoidance of food waste, including by consumers.    
  2. Innovative supply concepts
     
    As the pandemic showed, the demand in online retail has continued to increase. It is not just clothing or electrical items that are in demand, but also food and other everyday goods. As a result, the traffic on our roads and the density of delivery vehicles has increased. Cities and councils now have to react to the environmental effects caused by increased traffic congestion, which is why there is the need for more innovative, climate-friendly delivery alternatives. These should be able to cope with the increasing demand and be sensitive to external influences and thus help reduce emissions. We are therefore working with innovative concepts and their potential implementation in order to combat the negative effects caused by the increase in online retail.
  3. Climate resilient logistics concepts in urban areas
     
    Research into sustainable logistics concepts extends beyond the delivery of goods. How can urban space, as for example with public transport or with the provision of health care, be sustainably designed? The topic of climate resilient logistics concepts encompasses more than just pure transport problems, which is why there is the need for different disciplines to work together to enable sustainable planning. This includes disciplines such as geography and medicine, which need to address issues such as the provision of medical care for outpatient services and the design of green hospitals.

The Chair of Resilient Operations is an active part of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Augsburg.

At the Chair of Public Law and Crisis Resilience, Prof. Dr Sina Fontana and her team are researching climate resilience from the perspective of public law, including its international and comparative dimensions.

 

  1. State responsibility in the context of climate change
     
    States have a responsibility to protect the climate and address the consequences of climate change, which must be more closely defined. This concerns the unilateral obligation of states and their efforts at implementing measures to achieve climate resilience as well as the in principle shared but differentiated responsibility of the international community. Both approaches characterise research at the Chair of Transnational Climate Law.
  2. The impacts of climate change, especially of climate-induced migration
     
    Up until now, the law has concentrated on climate protection and above all else climate adaptation as a response to dealing with the ecological impacts of climate change in Germany. However, the impacts of climate change are also manifest in changes that are increasingly visible beyond territorial boundaries, as well as in many other areas of life, which often do not have a single cause. In order to develop the law in line with the problem, a broader legal perspective must be adopted towards the impacts of climate change. A particular focus is on the effects of climate change on migration, namely fleeing climate change, as well as health and conflicts.
  3. Vulnerability to the impacts of climate change
     
    Climate-related inequalities resulting from the unequal distribution of resources, including environmental resources, have a detrimental effect on social and political integration and participation. Those already affected by structural disadvantage are particularly exposed to the effects of climate change. In order to address this vulnerability, laws relating to the climate and their further development must be considered from an equality and diversity perspective.


The Chair of Public Law and Crisis Resilience is an active part of the Faculty of Law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social-ecological systems are under immense stress. Renewable resources like forests, fisheries, and agricultural land are a focal point of these processes, both as a direct consequence of climate change and because of the incentive to exploit common property. At the same time, these resources are the livelihood of millions of people, particularly in the global south. It is therefore essential to develop effective and resilient measures to protect natural resources and promote their sustainable use in the face of climate change.
For this purpose, Florian Diekert’s research group is using economic experiments, statistical analyses, and theoretical models. Four research projects illustrate this approach.

 

  • Do people react differently to the experience of an adverse event depending on whether it was caused by humans or by chance? The answer to this question is of theoretical economic interest, but it also has very practical implications for the design of policy recommendations.
 
  • Do fishermen follow the fish when they move to another location due to climate change? The answer to this question, which is found by combining a large dataset of official catch reports with an oceanographic model, influences the design of adaptive catch regulations for sustainable fisheries management.
 
  • How does the distribution of power within a group affect whether it adheres to existing rules in an economic experiment? The answer to this question indicates the productive and resilient design of teams and organisations.
 
  • How do early warning systems about potential tipping points in ecological systems lead to better management? The answer to this question, which can be answered with the help of abstract models, shows that early warning systems should be used.
 
The Chair of Environmental Economics is an active part of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Augsburg.

 

 

At the Chair of Political Science with a Focus on Climate Policy, we research climate resilience from a global perspective. Vulnerability to climate change is analysed as a socially produced precarity that often has its roots in colonialism, which continues to exert its effects on the current day (coloniality). In our discourse analysis research, we examine which social groups and countries are considered “vulnerable” as a result of knowledge and classification processes and which are considered “climate resilient.” We contrast this with the perspectives of those affected by climate change and their understanding of what they need to become “climate resilient.”


The team at the Chair of Political Science with a Focus on Climate Policy works on three main research areas:

 

  1. The “future rights” of those affected by the impacts of climate change
     
    How do people who are at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods due to climate change claim their rights? We examine how those affected by the impacts of climate change (either in future or currently) try to fight back, whether through climate lawsuits or protest movements aimed at ensuring compliance with the 1.5°C target. A particular research focus is negotiations concerning the loss and damage fund in the context of UN climate negotiations, where it is negotiated who owes what to whom.
  2. Participatory climate futures
     
    How can online and face-to-face participation processes be designed to initiate social change while also contributing to climate change adaptation? Which democratic-theoretical quality criteria are suitable for evaluating participation in climate adaptation processes? In addition to participation processes, other practices of “future making” (e.g., modelling) undertaken by other disciplines represented in the centre will also be examined.
  3. Digitalisation for the Sustainability Transformation
     
    The chair is organising an international interdisciplinary symposium at the Centre for Climate Resilience from 20.-22 September 2023. The two guiding questions of the conference are: How is digitalisation changing the knowledge base and forms of governance in the field of environmental policy and sustainable development? How should digitalisation be governed/regulated to realise its potential for the sustainability transformation?

The Chair of Political Science with a Focus on Climate Policy is a part of the Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Augsburg. Prof. Dr Angela Oels is the deputy managing director of the Institute for Social Sciences.

 

The Chair of Climate Finance is concerned with questions to do with the topic of sustainable finance, particularly climate finance and corporate finance. We conduct empirical research on (1) the connection between sustainability assessments and the risk return profile of companies, (2) the recognition and management of financial risks generated by the sustainable transformation, and (3) the effectiveness of steering effects from regulatory frameworks in the context of the sustainable transformation.

 

  1. Sustainable asset management
     
    One focus of research is the development of modern profile optimisation models that take sustainability factors into account in investment decisions. These models help to visualise the trade-offs between financial and sustainable investment objectives in order to then make an informed decision in favour of a particular portfolio. 
  2. Sustainability evaluations
     
    The core of the transformation is the redirection of financial flows to support sustainable business models. The evaluation of whether a company has a good ESG, or whether a fund is aligned with the Paris agreement, or whether an investment is a making a social contribution is based on various sustainability scores. In this area, we examine the significance of various sustainability scores as well as their informational content for capital market participants.
  3. Pricing externalities
     
    Externalities such as free emissions from greenhouse gases or the use of commonly held goods can lead to consumption and production decisions that are not in line with a sustainable society. The aim of research is to understand which approaches to the pricing of externalities are effective in supporting the transformation.
 
The Chair of Climate Finance is an active part of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Augsburg.

The research group  Climate Resilience and Human-Made Ecosystems studies the impacts of climate change on land use and agriculture and adaptation in the context of global challenges such as food and nutrition security.

 

The two themes of our research are:

 

  1. Regional and global climate change impacts
     
    Impact models are well validated and tested for different sectors, including agriculture, their results used widely and often provide initial evidence on how humans change the climate system and which risks evolve from that. The leading research questions for us in this area are: Where globally are climate change hotspots and where are impacts strongest? What are the uncertainties in climate change impact projections and how can we improve simulation models used in impact assessments?
  2. Smallholder agriculture and adaptation
     
    Smallholder farmers provide one-third of all food supplied worldwide but occupy only one-fourth of the global cropland. Small farms tend to focus more on food production than on producing feed for livestock or biomass for other uses, which highlights their importance for household and domestic food security. The leading research questions for us in this area are: What are the specific challenges for smallholders in adapting to climate change? Which adaptation strategies are most efficient and already used by rural households and proved to be successful? What are barriers or enablers for efficient adaptation?

 

The Chair for Climate Resilience and Human-Made Ecosystems is an active part of the  Institute of Geography and the  Faculty of Applied Computer Science  at the University of Augsburg.

In research and teaching, the Chair of Environmental Sociology with a Focus on the Social-Ecological Transformation, Resilient Design, and Climate, is concerned with the reciprocal relationship between society and nature. In particular, social-ecological connections and the implications of climate change for society are examined. Points of reference include global social inequality research, social ecology, political ecology, the social metabolism, critical development theory, as well as post-colonial and feminist approaches. Our regional focus areas are Western Europe, in particular Germany, and South America, in particular Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. 

   

The following areas form the focus of the Chair of Environmental Sociology at the Centre for Climate Resilience:

 

  1. Societal participation in the production of knowledge about climate resilience
     
    Who defines what climate resilience is? Which technologies, infrastructure, and practices are suitable adaptation measures? Which actors and perspectives are included or excluded in participation processes? In the field of adaptation, to what extent have global inequalities in the production of knowledge changed or been reconfigured? This research focus aims to contribute to the overarching question of the possibilities and challenges of participatory knowledge production on resilience.
  2. Climate adaption and property ownership conflicts
     
    Land use conflicts: How are adaptation measures to climate change socially negotiated when they come to conflict? To what extent do adaptation measures generate new relations of ownership? To what extent are social inequalities associated with property relations weakened, reinforced, or reconfigured by adaptation measures? These questions will be explored on the basis of empirical case studies in various regions of the world, following on from sociological property research.
  3. Climate resilience and decentralised renewable energy infrastructure
     
    Against the background of the current energy crisis is the question of what contribution citizen-based energy projects can make to resilient energy infrastructure. This is because they open up the possibility of securing local energy supply which can contribute to climate protection and resilience, thereby strengthening democratic participation in the energy transformation. What are the possibilities and limits of citizen-based energy projects for the social-ecological transformation? Which frameworks have proved successful and which not? An inter- and transdisciplinary approach to research is envisaged here.

 

The Chair for Environmental Sociology with a Focus on the Social-Ecological Transformation, Resilient Design, and Climate is an active part of the Institute for Social Sciences at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the University of Augsburg.

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