Economic and Social Dimensions

The focus of our fourth main research area is on the interplay between economics, society and climate and the associated impact and risks of climate change. Within this extremely complex and multifaceted area the Oeschger Centre conducts research in six sub-areas:

  • Political economy of climate change: we investigate, from a political and strategic point of view, how successful national environmental policy can be applied to international agreements.
  • International trade: we investigate what kind of role the WTO can play in multilateral agreements on climate protection and measures for adaptation to climate change.
  • Mitigation, adaptation and technological change: we investigate the interplay between these three elements with the goal of developing an optimal long-term climate policy.
  • Uncertainties, risks and insurance: with the precautionary principle as a guide, we investigate the effects of events which are fairly unlikely but are capable of causing irreparable high damage.
  • Intergenerational justice: climate change is a long-term problem. We investigate which economic consequences (cost/benefit) may arise for future generations and what this means for the climate policies of today.
  • Climate change and conflicts: we examine the hypothesis that climate change and regional resource shortages lead to more frequent conflicts. The results may well be of relevance to security policy.