Against the Global Bluff

07/08/2008 - Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist and deputy-director at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK), was appointed professor of “Economics of Climate Change” at the Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University Berlin, TU Berlin). The professorship, a collaborative effort of PIK and TU Berlin, was co-initiated by the Michael Otto Foundation, who supports it with approximately Euro 520,000. By establishing the first professorship on the economics of climate change, the university and the foundation commit themselves to groundbreaking climate policy research, and react to the associated new demands on research and teaching.
Against the Global Bluff

“A number of basic questions need to be answered, before we can reach a fair and internationally binding Global Deal for climate protection,” says Edenhofer. The establishment of global trade of emissions certificates is a necessary precondition for reaching ambitious goals in climate protection. “CO2 emissions need to get a price,” says the economist. However, international trade with certificates needs to be regulated so that countries with low emissions are compensated while the costs are fairly distributed among those countries with higher emissions. The regulation of international emissions trading is a focus of current economic research on climate change.

„With the new professorship, the TU Berlin provides this area of research with new options and more relevance within the German educational infrastructure,” says the university’s President Professor Kurt Kutzler. The main objective is to map out strategies for energy and economic policies to cut emissions in countries like China, India, Europe and the USA. TU Berlin’s School VI for planning, building and environment is an ideal surrounding, since research for climate protection is complemented by engineering. “The professorship that combines economics, mathematics, environmental sciences, energy and traffic engineering is an important step to meet the challenges posed by climate change,” says Kutzler.

The Michael Otto Foundation fully supports the goal of advancing climate protection and to further develop the Kyoto-Protocol to a technology-oriented successor. The foundation funds the professorship for five years to attract young researchers to the field of climate policy. “There is great potential yield for our national economy in climate protection, it does pay off,” says Michael Otto, chairman of the board of trustees of the foundation. Otto: “But we need the young economists, technicians and engineers who can develop and apply the practical solutions.”

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