Dr. Brigitte Knopf has been Secretary General at MCC since 2015. As a member of the Directorate, she bears responsibility for the institute's management and strategy. Since 2020, she has also been a member and Deputy Chair of the Council of Experts on Climate Change which was newly appointed by the German government.
She conducts research on climate economics and energy policy issues in the German and European context, with a focus on the socially balanced design of the energy transition, and with a strategic orientation towards scientific policy advice. As head of the MCC's Policy Unit, she orients the institute's interface with politics, business and civil society, and develops overarching analyses and impulses for public discourse. Also since 2020, she has been leading the stakeholder dialogue process in the large BMBF-funded Copernicus research project Ariadne on the energy transition.
Brigitte Knopf holds a PhD in physics. Prior to her engagement at MCC, she was deputy head of the then Research Department III "Sustainable Solutions Strategies" at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) until the end of 2014, where she had started as a PhD student in 2006. From 2007 to 2010, she coordinated one of the first global model comparisons on the technical feasibility of the 2-degree target. From 2009 to 2011, she was Senior Advisor to the Technical Support Unit in Working Group III at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the preparation of its Special Report on Renewables. As an expert for the German Energiewende and European climate and energy policy, from 2012 to 2013, she led an international model comparison on the effects of technology choices on EU climate policy that explores the EU's 2030 climate target.
In 2014, she coordinated the Euro-CASE assessment of the EU emissions trading scheme, and was also an author in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report of Working Group III on the Mitigation of Climate Change, which was published in the same year. In 2018, she was lead author of the chapter on fiscal policies for the low-carbon transition of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report. In 2019, she was a member of the United Nations Scientific Advisory Group which was involved in preparing the UN Climate Action Summit, and co-authored the MCC-PIK expertise on optioins for a carbon pricing reform in Germany, which was presented in the Climate Cabinet. It was a blueprint for national emissions trading for transport and heat adopted the same year.
Brigitte Knopf is author of numerous publications in scientific journals and involves actively in public debate in Germany and at the EU level with presentations, media interviews, and via Twitter.
High-res press photo (source: MCC)
Journal Articles (peer reviewed)
see below ("Current Publications")
Opinion pieces and newspaper articles
Knopf, Brigitte (2022): Die Klimalücke schließen Tagesspiegel Background, 07.07.2022
Knopf, Brigitte (2022): Teilhabe ist mehr – Energiewende gesellschaftlich tragen Tagesspiegel Background, 27.01.2022
Knopf, Brigitte (2021): Essay: Energiewende als gesellschaftliche Herausforderung BDEW-Onlinemagazin, 28.10.2021
Knopf, Brigitte (2021): Klimawandel – Was wissen wir, was können wir tun, was dürfen wir hoffen? NZZ Standpunkte, 03.10.2021
Knopf, Brigitte (2021): Politiker verstehen Klimakrise nicht. ZDF morgenmagazin, 06.05.2021
Knopf, Brigitte (2021): Ein sozialverträglicher ausgestalteter CO2-Preis als Wegbegleiter für Klimaneutralität, blog politische ökonomie, 11.03.2021
Knopf, Brigitte (2019): Politische Lösungen statt Verzicht. Tagesspiegel, 08.09.2019
Knopf, Brigitte (2019): Klimapaket: Mercator-Institut fürchtet kleinteilige Lösung. ARD Morgenmagazin, 20.09.2019.
Knopf, Brigitte (2019): Der Kohleausstieg reicht nicht. Focus online, 27.07.2019
Knopf, Brigitte, Kalkuhl, Matthias (2019): CO2 besteuern und das Geld an die Bürger zurückzahlen. Zeit Online, 07.02.2019.
Knopf, Brigitte (2017): A step to the side: the G20’s climate dance. T20 Germany Blog, 14.07.2017
Knopf, Brigitte (2017): Three policy options for Germany to lead the G20 towards carbon pricing. T20 Germany Blog, 26.01.2017
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): G20 can do what Paris climate summit can't: tax carbon. Huffington Post, 8.12.2015
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): Nach der Klimakonferenz sind die G20 mit der Umsetzung dran. Der Tagesspiegel, 27.11.2015.
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): Sportliches Klimaprogramm für Indien. Frankfurter Rundschau, 08.10.2015.
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): Die Katholische Kirche und das Klima: Welches Geheimnis sich in der Enzyklika des Papstes verbirgt. Der Tagesspiegel, 24.6.2015. Link
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): Heaven belongs to us all – the new papal encyclical. energypost, 19.6.2015. Link
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): Der Himmel gehört uns allen – die neue Enzyklika des Papstes. SciLogs KlimaLounge, 19.6.2015. Link
Knopf, Brigitte (2015): Heaven belongs to us all – the new papal encyclical. RealClimate, 18.6.2015. Link