27 June 2018

Research and Education in Sustainability and Climate to have own Centre at the Department of Political Science

NEW CENTRE FOR CLIMATE AND SUSTAINABILITY

The Minister for Finance was present when the new Centre for Sustainability and Society at the University of Copenhagen opened on 7 June at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The researchers behind the new centre welcome the government attention, since developing a sustainable society is one of the greatest challenges facing our times and we need more knowledge about which climate initiatives are the most effective.

The new Centre for Sustainability and Society (SUSY) employs research staff from all five departments of the Faculty of Social Sciences, all of whom work with research and education in the area of climate and sustainability.

On the day of the opening, speeches were given by Kristian Jensen, Minister for Finance, Henrik C. Wegener, Rector, Troels Østergaard Sørensen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Jens Hoff, Professor in Political Science, who will head the Centre.

Jens Hoff, Professor in Political Science and Head of Centre, Kristian Jensen, Minister for Finance, Henrik C. Wegener, Rector, and Troels Østergaard Sørensen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences were all present at the opening of the new Centre for Sustainability and Society at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

They stressed the need for more education on the subject of climate and sustainability, the power of an interdisciplinary approach, and the importance of private actors entering into new alliances and being part of creating new knowledge on sustainable societies: while the climate and sustainability agendas were largely driven by governments until the COP15 summit in Copenhagen in 2009, civil society and market actors have, to a large extent, been driving developments since then.

– Research into sustainability has, so far, chiefly been dominated by the natural sciences, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that a transition to a sustainable society requires massive changes in the way society is organised, making the social sciences research field a central actor, says Jens Hoff, who has previously carried out research into the opportunities for civil society to increase climate efforts at a local level.

– Today, we see a flourishing of innovative initiatives from a variety of communities, cities, local authorities, regions, and private companies. Politics seem both slow and lagging behind compared to activities initiated by citizens and companies and new paths are needed to organise our knowledge-sharing and decision-making. There’s a need for new alliances between citizens and politicians where associations, eco-communities, environmental movements, and progressive companies play a more prominent role, he concludes.

Contact

Jens Hoff, Professor
Department of Political Science
Telephone: +45 35 32 33 86
E-mail: jh@ifs.ku.dk

Janni Brixen, Journalist
The Faculty of Social Sciences
Mobile telephone: +45 93 56 52 57
E-mail: jab@samf.ku.dk