Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Thaer-Institute | Resource Economics | Research challenges | Problem dimensions | Climate Change, Requirements for Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate Change, Requirements for Mitigation and Adaptation

According to data provided by the „Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change“, the global mean temperature has increased by 0.74 °C (± 0.18 °C) during the last century. The trend is increasing: the first decade of the third millennium has been warmer than the 1990s, which have been warmer than the 1980s (IPCC).

Most probably, the reason for this recent climate change can be found in an increase of the natural greenhouse effect due to human activities. The main causes are the combus-tion of fossil fuels, deforestation, intensive agriculture, and livestock production. Through these activities greenhouse gases – especially carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – accumulate in the atmosphere. These gases reduce the heat radiation emissions into space and lead to a rise in temperature on earth. This increase in temperature causes a deglaciation of glaciers and the poles, resulting in rising sea levels. The temperature increase notably disturbs global water cycles and has a strong impact on climate.

Climate change poses several new challenges to humanity. A recent paper estimates that only in Germany climate change will cost about 800 billion Euros until the year 2050 (Kemfert). Countries in the tropics are even more severely affected. Agriculture in these countries will face tremendous drops in production. Adverse effects on health add to these problems, e.g. through heat waves or the accelerated spread of infectious diseases – especially in countries with a poor public health system (WHO).

Multiple adaptation and mitigation requirements arise from the negative consequences of climate change. In the next years, it will be crucial to develop appropriate strategies to cope, for instance, with floodings and droughts. At the same time, to combat further climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions will have to be reduced – e.g. by the ex-tensification of agriculture or the development of renewable energies.

The question as to who has to carry the burden of adaption to and mitigation of climate change will increasingly lead to conflicts between regions, countries, economic sectors, social strata, and generations. To develop adequate institutions and organizations will be crucial to resolve these conflicts. The Division of Resource Economics is actively engaged in international research projects in this field.


This problem dimension has been addressed in the following research projects:

  • econCCadapt
    Economics of Climate Change Adaptation - Integrating Economic Modeling and Institutional Analysis at Different Scales
    Sustainable Land Management and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change for the Western Siberian Corn-belt
    Climate and Energy in a Complex Transition Process Towards Sustainable Hyderabad. Mitigation and adaptation strategies by changing institutions, governance structures, life styles and consumption patterns


Bhatt, Brijesh Governance Structure for Enhanced Energy Efficiency in Irrigation Electricity Distribution System of Andhra Pradesh

Chidambaram, Bhuvanachihtra

Sustainable Traffic Solutions on the Basis of Vehicle Emission Simulation Models

Ghosh, Ranjan Kumar Deregulation, Institutional Reforms and Efficiency in Power Generation: The case of Andhra Pradesh

Horam, Phungmayo

Analysis of Market Potential and Government Policy for Renewable Energy in Hyderabad.

Papasozomenou, Ourania

Self-governance in Small European Communities: Responses to climate change impacts on water resources?

Pham Thanh Lan Understanding farmer’s adaptation to climate change – A case study of rice production in Northern Vietnam

Bhaskar Poldas

Analysis of the influence of religious interpretations for climate change on the climate related behavior of citizens in Hyderabad, India

Seema Singh Potential and Constraints of building Environmental Health Risk Resilient Communities in the Emerging Mega City of Hyderabad/India