Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change

We at the MCC explore sustainable economic development as well as the use of commons such as global environmental systems and social infrastructures against the background of climate change. Our six working groups are active in the fields of economic growth and development, resources and international trade, cities and infrastructures, governance and policy assessments. We generate knowledge maps about the opportunities and risks of different paths to sustainability.

Governance of global commons
Technological, social and political change
Global economic growth has resulted in the intensified use of the world’s resources, in turn creating new scarcities. Moreover, to date economic growth still entails using the atmosphere - which has limited capacities - as a depository for greenhouse gases. Increasing global demand for agricultural products and urban sprawl intensify pressure on land and lead to rising food prices and the destruction of rain forests. To maintain global prosperity and eradicate world poverty in the 21st century, a technical, social and political transformation creating sustainable governance of global commons is required.

Knowledge maps
A transition to global sustainability in keeping with democratic values moreover calls for an improvement of our understanding of fundamental system dynamics. In this context, the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) aims at generating'maps of knowledge' to guide policy in an iterative societal learning process. These maps will focus on specific risks and uncertainties.

Worldwide networking
When conducting assessment reports and analyzing policy options, iterative exchange with diverse actors and groups in policy and society is vital for evaluating the different perspectives and values of these various stakeholders. Given the high complexity of the relevant systems, no institute could single-handedly generate a policy-relevant synthesis of the available body of knowledge. This is why the MCC fosters close collaboration with policy-makers, society and other sustainability institutes worldwide.

In addition, the Institute will develop original research contributions in the following areas:

  • Economic Growth
  • Land Use, Infrastructure and Transport
  • Resources and International Trade
  • Governance
  • Evaluation of Assessments, Scientific Policy Advice and Philosophy of Global Commons