Issue: March 2017, 40 years of the Oeko-Institut – Special anniversary issue


If we could make a wish…

Oeko-Institut staff look into the future

In my projects I often notice that I only make things happen if I take the time to talk to the people who are affected by developments and want to change things. Having more time to make contact with them is very important to me.

Daniel Bleher, Senior Researcher (Resources & Transport)

I picture how wonderful it would be if before long all the cars on our roads were electric ones. What would we begin to hear again, how would our attention change if the constant traffic noise disappeared?

Kathrin Graulich, Deputy Head of the Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division

It is not necessary for every country to make the same mistakes. Legislation, systemic solutions, good examples. We can learn from each other. That is indeed optimistic, but it’s possible.

Dr. Izabela Kosińska, Researcher (Resources & Transport)

I wish that even more companies would not just treat sustainability as a communication task but instead see sustainable business activity as a far-reaching management task.

Carl-Otto Gensch, Head of the Sustainable Products & Material Flows Division

I wish that Germany could serve as a model for other countries, that other industrialised nations would abandon nuclear energy and that nuclear power plants close to the border would be shut down. And the repository issue must be resolved. These are still hot issues.

Christian Küppers, Deputy Head of the Nuclear Engineering & Facility Safety Division

Personally I am also curious about how the process of choosing a repository site will work out in practice and just how the participatory processes will be organised. It is important that the issue remains at the top of the political agenda and concerted action is taken to address it, because the current temporary storage of waste is not secure in the long term.

Beate Kallenbach-Herbert, Head of the Nuclear Engineering & Facility Safety Division

If in 20 years’ time we are supposed to stop burning coal and in 30 years’ time there are no longer supposed to be any petrol- or diesel-engined cars on our roads, then we need to be working on the transition now. Avoiding the issue or postponing it for another day is no solution.

Dirk Arne Heyen, Senior Researcher (Environmental Law & Governance)

I am convinced that in the long term the energy turnaround can only work as a European project. If the wind isn’t blowing in Germany, it is highly likely that the sun is shining in Spain or that wind energy is being fed into the system in Finland. Now, in particular, we need a positive vision for Europe.

Hauke Hermann, Senior Researcher (Energy & Climate)

On paper at least, objectives are easy to define: cut emissions, monitor supply chains better, improve air quality in cities, etc. When it comes to methods, though, the devil is in the detail. What are the best instruments for achieving these objectives – and how do we implement them? This is the line that I am interested in pursuing.

Verena Graichen, Senior Researcher (Energy & Climate)

Creating knowledge is one thing. Passing it on is another. Yet the two are inseparable. Ultimately I can only preserve something if I understand and value it. And I can only change something if I realise why I should change it.

Alexa Hännicke, Assistant (Public Relations & Communications)

For me mutual understanding and appreciation is as much a part of sustainability as the scientific work. Being friendly and considerate, communicating promptly, discussing problems openly with each other – we are very good at these things.

Marianne Burchard-Huber, Secretariat (Freiburg Office)

Further information about the article
Further information from the Oeko-Institut (in German only)

Other articles from this rubric

The next decades

New and familiar pathways

By 2017
the EU should be spending three per cent of GDP on research and development.

From 2020
the International Energy…


The next decades

Key trajectories

Digitisation, autonomous driving, renewable energy

The world is going to change over the coming years, decades and centuries. Some developments we can already foresee, some…


Key trajectories

Older issues