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Climate Change and Energy

Climate Change and Energy

Climate change and global warming have a strong link to social issues for two reasons: On the one hand, people and social systems are the biggest contributor to climate change and the speed at which it is changing. On the other, people and social systems will suffer from the severe effects of climate change, and humanity is already facing a multi-faceted variety of challenges due to it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has changed its estimation of human influence on climate change dramatically over the years:

  • 1995 (SAR): “…discernible human influence…”
  • 2001 (TAR): “…most of the warning is attributable to human activities…”
  • 2007 (AR4): “…is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenice greenhouse gas concentrations…”
  • 2013 (AR5): “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950, with the level of confidence having increased since the fourth report.”

Research at ZSI is reflecting this challenge, both in addressing climate change issues in mitigation and adaptation directly and as a cross-sectoral theme in its research activities. We are also involved in projects supporting energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies. ZSI was also engaged in the evaluation of the Local Agenda 21 in Vienna, and was developing and in charge for maintaining the Austrian sustainability platform (www.nachhaltigkeit.at) from its inception until 2005. 

Several of our international co-operation projects, for example, contribute to the definition of roadmaps for the co-operation addressing societal challenges, including climate change (e. g. ALCUENET with Latin America, SUSTAIN EU-ASEAN with South-East Asia etc.) and energy (e.g. Danube-INCO.NET). A variety of other projects focus on technological-societal issues related to climate change, such as stakeholder involvement in climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions and platforms for management of resource efficiency measures. Lastly, our projects also take a look at the social dimension of climate change and energy challenges to society.

ZSI is also a member of the Climate Change Centre AUSTRIA (CCCA).

Contact person: M.A. Gorazd A. Weiss

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