Influential pioneer

Photo PIK

Ottmar Edenhofer is awarded the most prestigious environmental prize in Germany.

09/02/2020 · Umweltwissenschaften · Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung · HP-Topnews · Menschen

This year’s "Umweltpreis" – the most prestigious environmental prize in Germany – goes to Ottmar Edenhofer. Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt honours the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK, member of Leibniz Association), and of the Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), for his groundbreaking work namely in the field of carbon pricing. The award will be presented to Edenhofer by the German head of state, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on 25 October in Hanover.

"Ottmar Edenhofer has crucially advanced carbon dioxide pricing as a market-based key instrument of German climate policy," said Alexander Bonde, Secretary General of Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt. Bonde emphasized that Edenhofer is "one of the most influential pioneers worldwide on the economics of climate change. Thanks to his excellent research, science-based policy advice, and high level of commitment, he is able to offer solutions to control climate change that also address issues of justice, by using an economic approach."

Bonde highlighted that Edenhofer knows how to address business, climate protection and societal demands and "to show political decision-makers ways in which potential conflicts of objectives can be overcome".

A new level of recognition for the economics of climate change

For the last Assessment Report of the IPCC, Edenhofer co-led the working group on mitigation which is responsible for exploring the climate solutions space. At PIK, he was appointed chief economist in 2005, and has led the institute as Director (with Johan Rockström) since 2018. Moreover, he has served as the founding Director of the MCC from its beginnings in 2012, which provides solution-oriented policy portfolios for governing the global commons. In 2019, PIK and MCC presented an expertise to the German “Climate Cabinet” and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Subsequently, the government introduced a national carbon pricing scheme in Germany, complementing the European Emissions Trading System. Edenhofer currently heads Ariadne, a Kopernikus project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and part of the largest research initiatives in Germany in the field of the energy transition. He also serves as a professor at Berlin’s Technische Universität.

"I am very grateful for this wonderful award since giving it to a climate economist expresses a new level of recognition for the social science approach of exploring the climate solutions space", commented Edenhofer. "I am deeply honoured, yet also encouraged. To avoid severe risks to safety and prosperity of people worldwide, we can – and indeed we must – further advance equitable policy options for tackling the climate challenge."

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