Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (NEU)
This field of research is investigating the environmental and socially-related conditions and consequences of the process of transformation towards a sustainable society. The research work is geared towards specific problem areas and solution options, while considering their chances of being adopted. The key focus involves observing active parties or groups of active parties at several levels: individuals, companies and organisations, networks, (capital) markets, the state and supranational institutions as architects of the macroeconomic, institutional legal framework. The actions of these parties and their interaction are being analysed by using suitable theoretical models and a wide variety of research methods.
The research is dealing with the following problem areas: nutrition and the use of land, climate protection and climate adaptation, protecting resources, energy supplies, protecting the environment and nature conservation/biodiversity, social standards and working conditions. In all the problem areas mentioned here, issues related to how we do business, funding, selected technologies, consumption and lifestyles, fairness and social balance as well as the environment are all closely interrelated. This field of research seeks to take into account the systemic relationships with their feedback effects and dynamics. This also particularly means that any undesirable side-effects of actions, displacement effects and long-term consequences have to be considered too.