Ottmar Edenhofer awarded with most prestigious environmental prize

Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt: “one of the most influential worldwide pioneers on the economics of climate change”.

Since 2012 Director of the MCC: Ottmar Edenhofer | Photo: MCC


This year’s “Umweltpreis” – the most prestigious environmental prize in Germany – goes to Ottmar Edenhofer. Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt honours the Director of the Berlin-based climate research institute MCC (Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) 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 emphasised that Edenhofer is “one of the most influential worldwide pioneers 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 better than almost anyone else how to think business, climate protection and societal demands together, and “to show political decision-makers ways in which potential conflicts of objectives can be overcome”.

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. 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. At PIK, he was appointed chief economist in 2005, and has led the institute as Director (with Johan Rockström) since 2018. In 2019, MCC and PIK 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 leads Ariadne, one of the largest research efforts to guide Germany’s Energiewende, a joint three-year Kopernikus project of 26 institutions initiated by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research in June this year. 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.”

Reference of the cited article:
The announcement of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt about the award to Ottmar Edenhofer can be found here.