Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change

Start of Project: 01.11.2018 — End of Project: 30.04.2023

The Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change was coordinated by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy as an accompanying activity to the BMBF funding measure Economics of Climate Change II from 2018-2022.

The increasingly clear consequences of climate change and the insights of scientific climate research have made it clear that far-reaching and sometimes catastrophic effects on the climate and life on earth can only be avoided by drastically reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This increases the need to assess the economic and societal impacts on climate change and to develop appropriate measures for its mitigation.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded the funding measure Economics of Climate Change II until the end of 2022, which expanded competencies in the field of climate economics and thus provided sound, solution-oriented knowledge for investment, consumption and regulatory decisions in business, society and politics. The goal was to expand knowledge about the interrelationships and instruments for efficient climate protection that can be implemented in practice.

The funding measure focused on the following themes, for the development of which a total of 29 project networks with 86 sub-projects from 49 partner institutions were selected:

  • Theme 1: Climate protection & transformation: Decarbonisation – Competitiveness – Quality of life
  • Theme 2: Climate protection: Instruments and policies after COP21
  • Theme 3: Dealing with climate risks
  • Theme 4: International climate policy
  • Theme 5: Financial markets, financial sector and climate finance

The multitude of results generated on a wide range of climate economics research questions were to be communicated beyond the boundaries of the specialist community. In order to support this knowledge transfer and thus intensify the exchange between research and practice, the funding measure Economics of Climate Change II was accompanied and supported by the project Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change. Companies, NGOs, public authorities and representatives from politics and society were invited to participate in the Dialogue with climate economics researchers.



  • Exchange and cooperation with stakeholders from politics, business and society and ensuring a lively dialogue
  • Strengthening the orientation to application and practical relevance of climate economics research
  • Increasing the visibility of climate economics research in social discourse
  • Promoting young researchers and their integration into inter- and transdisciplinary climate economics research
  • Internationalization of the funding measure Economics of Climate Change II




The core of the Dialogue was the event series Forum Climate Economics, which was aimed at a broad audience of stakeholders from business, NGOs, public authorities, politics and the public. It was already an integral part of the funding measure Economics of Climate Change I (2011-2015) with 5 forums. The forums addressed current topics of the climate and energy policy debate and provided insights into current research results. In addition, a platform for discussion and informal exchange between science and practice was provided. Some forums of the second funding phase were held virtually, hybrid or in presence under pandemic conditions.

Following on from the Forums Climate Economics, findings and recommendations from current climate economics research and the insights gained from the Dialogue were regularly prepared as a paper in a concise and clear form. These publications are aimed at decision-makers and interested parties from business, administration, politics, the media and society and are intended to provide solid, bundled and up-to-date information as well as orientation knowledge.

Another highlight is the Climate Cabinet Simulation Game, which was developed by the Climate Foundation for Citizens Sinsheim and ZEW Mannheim within the framework of the Dialogue for school students and aims to make climate policy decision-making processes tangible and to convey climate economics knowledge in a vivid way.

In addition to the forums, the Dialogue has organized other event formats such as specialist workshops, discussion events and PhD seminars. Particular attention was paid to the advancement of young researchers and included continuing education programs that introduced young researchers from the funding measure to transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, as well as workshops at which PhD students could present their dissertation projects and discuss them with experienced scientists. Finally, at the final conference of the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change, the Early Career Best Paper Award was presented to young researchers to recognize outstanding academic achievements in the community.