"Qatar could become a powerful change agent"

07/18/2012 - A high-level delegation from Qatar visited the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to discuss future cooperation initiatives, the next climate conference in Doha (COP18) and to learn about PIK´s latest findings in the fields of climate research and sustainable solutions. One specific point of interest was the future of water management for agricultural needs.
"Qatar could become a powerful change agent"
The delegation from Qatar discussed future cooperation initiatives with PIK director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. (Foto: PIK)

From the Qatar National Food Security Programme, Executive Chairman Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya and Vice Chairman Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani  as well as His Excellence Ambassador Khalid Al-Khater (Qatar’s Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations) led the delegation that was welcomed by PIK Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. In the cupola of the Michelson building, PIK´s Deputy Director Ottmar Edenhofer gave a presentation on the economics of climate change and its political and social implications. The delegation showed great interest in the challenges ahead and in the range of sustainable transformation pathways available.

The latest insights in climate research were presented by Stefan Rahmstorf, Co-chair of Research Domain Earth System Analysis at PIK, followed by a talk and discussion of PIK’s research on agriculture and water management, presented by Dieter Gerten, Head of the Research Field Planetary Opportunities and Planetary Boundaries. This topic was of particular importance to the representatives from Qatar because the country plans to invest in renewable energy sources for its agricultural sector, chiefly for the desalination of seawater.

An in-depth confidential discussion of Qatar´s future role and possible future cooperation initiatives and projects with the Potsdam Institute marked the conclusion of the delegation’s visit to PIK. Being this year´s host to the next climate conference, Qatar strives to make Doha the “Davos for the climate”. “Qatar has the means for successful sustainable development. If it recognizes its potential, it may become a pioneer in the field of climate protection and a powerful change agent,” Schellnhuber said. “It is a great chance not only for the country itself, but for the rest of the world as well.”