Three questions for… Prof. Dr. Felix Sebastian Creutzig
Bildung Portrait

Three questions for… Prof. Dr. Felix Sebastian Creutzig

Director of the working group Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and Professor at Technische Universität Berlin

CCC brings researchers from incredibly varied disciplines together. How important is interdisciplinary cooperation in such diverse teams, especially in climate research?

At this stage, relevant research on climate solutions is almost always interdisciplinary. Technological solutions need to be thought through together with design considerations, social dynamics must be accounted for, and legal and political processes need to be adequately understood. Climate protection is a collective action problem and that means that (almost) all academic disciplines need to come together to find solutions.

What challenges will arise for climate research and climate protection research over the next few years?

Our major research topics deal with questions about non-linear relationships. Non-linear relationships feature in Earth system dynamics, as the example of the rapidly thawing permafrost shows. But they are also evident in social sciences research on solutions. Making climate-friendly changes to our daily habits can start small, but then rapidly evolve to exert increasing influence on society as a whole as social norms shift.

What specific contribution can CCC make to closing the gap between knowledge and action in the area of climate protection?

With its transdisciplinary and solution-oriented approach under the banner of “Solutions That Work Now,” CCC is filling an important lacuna in the research scene and can become directly relevant for processes in politics, business, and civil society. The Berlin-Brandenburg region can actively shape the transition to a climate-neutral economy and society now and lay down the groundwork to secure its future.

The interview was conducted in October 2020.

Bild: Reinaldo Coddou