06 August 2018

Alumna Diana Ürge-Vorsatz visits the IIASA Women in Science Club

Alumna Prof. Dr. Diana Ürge-Vorsatz recently gave a lecture to the IIASA Women in Science Club on "Disruptive urban energy solutions and their interactions with other societal goals." 

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz © Central European University

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz © Central European University

Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore selected Prof. Dr. Diana Ürge-Vorsatz as the European climate science expert for his Climate Reality Leadership Corps event that took place in Berlin on 25-27 June and was the first training in Europe in 5 years. 

On 5 July, the IIASA Women in Science Club (WISC) hosted Prof. Dr. Ürge-Vorsatz for a scientific seminar titled "Disruptive urban energy solutions and their interactions with other societal goals."

Among the topics in her presentation, the COMBI Project was featured, which aims "at quantifying the multiple non-energy benefits of energy efficiency in the EU-28 area" and gathers "evidence from the EU area and developed modelling approaches for impacts on emissions, resources, social welfare, macro economy, and the energy systems." For example, one of the impacts mentioned was that skin problems and cardio-vascular diseases are reduced among those living in passive houses, so would it then be effective for policy makers to put some of the funding from health care into building development? 

Other disruptive solutions mentioned were regarding transforming mobility with the wider dissemination of electronic vechicles, shared mobility with impacts not only on the energy demand and energy supply, but on time management, social inclusiveness, urban space and thus land-use and biodiversity. Finally, she mentioned the environmental impacts associated with divorce, which raises the question if society reduced divorce by 2%, would this have a larger impact than currently advocated carbon mitigation solutions, and especially arguable technologies, such as carbon-capture and storage?

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz with IIASA Director General and CEO and WISC member Pavel Kabat.

About Diana Ürge-Vorsatz

Prof. Dr. Diana Ürge-Vorsatz is a Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and directed the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy at the university for 10 years. She is currently Vice Chair of Working Group III on Mitigation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She was a Coordinating Lead Author in both the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports (AR4 and AR5) of the IPCC, contributed to the Synthesis Report of AR5, and was a lead author in its Special Report on Renewable Energy (SRREN). She served on the United Nation’s Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change, and led the buildings-related work in the Global Energy Assessment. Prof. Ürge-Vorsatz was a Research Scholar at IIASA from 2010-2011.

Beyond having published widely on energy efficiency and sustainable energy policy, she is serving as the associate editor of the Springer journal “Energy Efficiency” and is a member of the Editorial Board of “Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources”. Prof. Ürge-Vorsatz has worked on and directed many international research projects for organisations including the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Global Environment Facility, United Nation’s Environment Programme, the World Energy Council, Climate Strategies, the World Bank. She has received the Hungarian Republic’s Presidential Award “Medium Cross” in 2008, as well as the “Role Model” award in 2009. 

About the IIASA Women in Science Club: WISC is a network for people connected to science at IIASA interested in amplifying the scientific contributions of women. WISC provides a platform and network for tackling the challenges facing women connected to science. WISC members promote, support, and offer encouragement for women connected to science at IIASA. The club organizes and hosts discussions, lectures, career development opportunities and trainings. The WISC club and WISC events welcome everyone at IIASA and IIASA alumni whatever their gender or professional background. Activities are supported by club membership dues and IIASA’s Staff Association Committee. If you are interested in joining the club, please email Amanda Palazzo () or Olga Turkovska (). 

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Last edited: 07 August 2018


Benigna Boza-Kiss

Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Monika Bauer

IIASA Network and Alumni Officer Communications and External Relations Department

COMBI Project

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