Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
The global commons and planetary boundaries
Scholars in the natural and social sciences from all over the world work closely together at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to study global climate change and its impacts on ecological, economic and social systems. The researchers investigate the Earth system’s capacity for withstanding human interventions and devise strategies and pathways for a sustainable future development for humankind and nature on this basis. The challenge of governance of global commons such as the atmosphere and the ocean within the planetary boundaries supplies the overall framework for this research and is a leitmotiv running through it.Understanding climate change and its impacts is a task that cannot be accomplished by any one institution or country alone. PIK, founded in 1992, is embedded in an international network of universities and research institutions working on questions arising from global environmental changes. The institute’s researchers advise governments around the world, among them the European Commission and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank.