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06.04.2020 – 12:37

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS)

Corona and Sustainability

Press Release

Corona and Sustainability

Potsdam, 6 April 2020

Dear readers,

The covid-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news these days. A number of contributions on the IASS website address the pandemic and its consequences from the perspective of sustainability. This series will be added to as the crisis develops. We would be happy to put you in contact with the respective authors.

1. Dr Pia Schweizer describes how difficult it is to contain the systemic risks that result from pandemics in an age of rapid global flows of people, goods and information. (So far only in German, English translation will follow shortly.) Was uns das Coronavirus über den Umgang mit systemischen Risiken zeigt
2. In a video blog (German with English subtitles), Prof. Dr Andreas Goldhau explores the energy policy ramifications of the current crisis. How will the Corona Crisis Affect Energy Policy?
3. Dr Kathleen Mar and Dr Nicole de Paula examine the links between climate protection and corona. Is the Coronavirus “Good” for Climate Change? This Question Misses the Point.
4. Dr Man Fang has been supporting her hometown of Wuhan from Germany as an online volunteer coordinator since January. She describes the different approaches to the pandemic in Germany and China as well as her own thoughts and feelings about them. “It’s about being soft. It’s about being connected. It’s about surrendering to nature as it is.”
5. Scientists from the fields of mobility research, psychology and the health sciences are calling for the provision of a mobility infrastructure in the face of the corona pandemic that ensures the required spacing and protects health. Covid-19 pandemic: Researchers and scientists call on government to enable safe walking and cycling
6. IASS researcher Stefanie Kunkel asks whether the current shift to virtual working can bring ecological benefits like a reduction in transport-related emissions. Climate Action from the Comfort of Your Own Home Office?
7. In a Discussion Paper, Klaus Töpfer Fellow Dr Nicole de Paula describes the connection between planetary and human health and sees the covid-19 pandemic as further proof of the dependence of human health on a healthy environment. Rethinking the rules of reality
8. In a further contribution, Nicole de Paula assesses the significance of the pandemic for international relations and global cooperation. Planetary health as a compass for shaping the future international global order 


Matthias Tang

Presse & Kommunikation

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS)

Phone: +49 (0)331 288 22-340


The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) conducts research with the goal of identifying, advancing, and guiding transformation processes towards sustainable societies in Germany and abroad. Its research practice is transdisciplinary, transformative, and co-creative. The institute cooperates with partners in academia, political institutions, administrations, civil society, and the business community to understand sustainability challenges and generate potential solutions. A strong network of national and international partners supports the work of the institute. Among its central research topics are the energy transition, emerging technologies, climate change, air quality, systemic risks, governance and participation, and cultures of transformation. The IASS is funded by the research ministries of the Federal Government of Germany and the State of Brandenburg.