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Director and Chief Economist of PIK - Director of MCC - Professor at Technische Universität Berlin

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Ottmar Edenhofer in an interview with Schweizer Radio SRF 3 - "Klimakitsch ärgert mich", on 7 January 2019. Link

Climate plan for Germany: Economists propose CO2 price reform -
In its December 2018 issue, SPIEGEL reports on the joint proposal by MCC, PIK and RWI for cornerstones of a CO2-price reform in Germany. Link

In an interview of the Handelsblatt Ottmar Edenhofer appeals against the background of the Bavarian state elections and in the run-up to COP24 in Katowice to politicians to set a clear signal for an ambitious German climate policy, above all by introducing a CO2 price.

Ottmar Edenhofer concludes in the article published in Handelsblatt of 18 October 2018 "Die Öko-Lüge - Wie Deutschland seine Vorreiterrolle beim Klimaschutz verspielt", Germany has a lost decade behind it in terms of climate protection. What has been missed in terms of structural change and the automotive industry.

Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström published the commentary “Charge €30 a tonne for CO2 to avoid catastrophic 4C warming” in “The Guardian” on 5 October 2018.

The German newspaper “DIE ZEIT” published an interview with Ottmar Edenhofer about the IPCC’s “Special Report 1.5 degrees” on 4 October 2018.

In the Washington Post Ottmar Edenhofer is warning of the consequences of coal plants: "[...] when we continue with the existing coal fired power plants, and build the new ones, we are closing the door to the 2 degree target".

In the German newspaper "F.A.Z.", Ottmar Edenhofer advocates an ambitious minimum price for CO2 as an instrument for efficient emissions reduction and easier international cooperation (17 November 2017).

Deutschland 2030

In the article "Why Security Policy is Reliant on Effective Climate Policy", co-authored by Kira Vinke and Dr. Jacob Schewe, Ottmar Edenhofer points out that dangerous climate change is increasingly threatening the security of states. These have fundamentally a dual regulatory function: Preserving internal stability and influencing the international order to protect themselves from external security risks. Economic, social, and ecological crises, interstate wars, intrastate conflicts, the proliferation of weapons, and transnationally organised crime interfere with this regulatory function. Already today, dangerous climate change is being perceived as the security risk that will shape the twenty-first century.

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12 years of European Emissions Trading Scheme in Germany
In a book edited by Dr. Michael Angrick, Christoph Kühleis, Dr. Jürgen Landgrebe and Jan Weiß from the German Emissions Trading Office (DEHSt), Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland and Lisa Katharina Schmid present their reform ideas for the EU emissions trading scheme. A number of further authors from science, policy and influential associations contributed insightful articles.

Global Carbon Pricing

Global carbon pricing for more effective climate cooperation
Achieving the Paris climate goals requires better international cooperation. A new book, to which MCC Director Ottmar Edenhofer has contributed, explains how this can be done.
Although the Paris Agreement is the strongest symbol of international cooperation on climate protection so far, the implementation of the agreed targets is still lacking. Instead of individual commitments for emission reductions by each country—which is the way the agreement currently works—there should be a common commitment. This is the proposal of the new book "Global Carbon Pricing: The Path to Climate Cooperation", which has now been published by leading economists and climate scientists from all over the world. Renowned economics professor Axel Ockenfels from the University of Cologne is one of its editors.


The book „Klimapolitik. Ziele, Konflikte, Lösungen”, authored by Ottmar Edenhofer and Michael Jakob is now available. It gives a short overview on climate policy and the ensuing conflicts and options for solutions. The intention of the authors is to present the actual state of research in generally intelligible terms without oversimplifying the complex relations necessary to avoid anthropogenic climate change.


Ottmar Edenhofer is Professor at the Technische Universität Berlin and widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on the economics of climate change. He is Director and Chief Economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). From 2007-2018 he headed PIK’s Research Domain 3 Sustainable Solutions which received an excellent evaluation by the Leibniz Society in 2014. Following the strategic decision of PIK in 2007 to become more solution-oriented with interdisciplinary Research Domains, Ottmar Edenhofer formed the research agenda of this department. He was pioneering in giving the institute which traditionally focused on large-scale quantitative computational modelling of the earth and its processes a social science research agenda providing rigorous and meaningful information on climate change mitigation to society. In 2012 he was appointed director of the newly founded Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). The work of the MCC was considered “excellent” by an external scientific evaluation board commissioned by Stiftung Mercator in 2015 and ranked second in the category energy and the environment in Europe within the "Prospect: Think Tank Awards 2016”. The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG) repeatedly ranked the MCC among the three best think tanks worldwide in the field of climate change. Edenhofer is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech, as well as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In 2018, Ottmar Edenhofer was awarded the Romano Guardini Prize by the Katholische Akademie in Bayern (Catholic Academy in Bavaria).

From 2008 to 2015 Ottmar Edenhofer served as Co-Chair of Working Group III of the Nobel Laureate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In this capacity he led the fifth assessment cycle and edited the report on "Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change" and the “Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation”. The Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation has been considered a landmark report. It provided the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement. Its analysis on the feasibility of the 2°C-target was groundbreaking and provided essential information for decision makers. 

Ottmar Edenhofer’s research influences political decision making. He is advising ministers such as the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the Federal President Frank-Walther Steinmeier as well as the World Bank on questions of green growth. Furthermore, he is a member of the “High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices” chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate in Economics, and Lord Nicholas Stern at the invitation of Ségolène Royal and Feike Sijbesma, Co-Chairs of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) High Level Assembly. The commission is preparing a scientific assessment for the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund spring meetings in 2017. In connection with the German G20 presidency in 2017, Edenhofer heads the T20 Task Force “Climate Policy and Finance” preparing scientific policy advice for the G20 and is a member of the OECD Advisory Council “Growth, Investment and the Low-Carbon Transition”. He is further part of the “National Expert Advisory Council on Climate Change” for Ireland which was set up in 2015 in the framework of the “Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill 2015”. The Council advises and makes recommendations to the Minister for the Environment, community and local government as a national mitigation plan is prepared. Ottmar Edenhofer has been appointed Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter on Economic Growth, Human Development and Planetary Welfare for the report “Rethinking Society for the 21st Century” by the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP). The Panel includes renowned economists and works under the patronage of Amartya Sen. The FAZ ranked Edenhofer repeatedly among the 15 most influential economists in Germany. Moreover, he was ranked among the 1% most influential scientists in the world due to his highly relevant publications in scientific literature.

Ottmar Edenhofer has published articles in Science, PNAS, Nature Climate Change, Resource and Energy Economics, Energy Economics, Macroeconomic Dynamics, World Development, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management as well as other peer-reviewed journals and authored a number of books. His publications address the design of instruments for climate and energy policy, questions of growth, technological change and development, public finance, welfare economics, distributional effects of climate policy instruments, game theoretic aspects of designing international agreements, long-term scenarios of the climate and energy system, mitigation costs and mitigation strategies, as well as the science-policy interface. His work has been heavily cited, which is illustrated by an h-index of 27 in Scopus, 24 in ISI Web of Science and 43 in Google Scholar.
He supervised 40 successfully completed PhD projects and currently supervises 21 PhD students. His former PhD students received prestigious prizes for their dissertations and some of them have been appointed to professorships in the meantime.
Edenhofer’s work has been picked up e.g. by The New York Times, the Economist, China Daily  Nature, Der Spiegel, ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandfunk. He frequently contributes to major media publications such as DIE ZEIT, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.


(Photo: Thomas Köhler/

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