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Lord Nicholas Stern receives Honorary Doctorate of the TU Berlin

Montag, 26. Oktober 2009

Media Information Nr. 262_a/2009

The award ceremony will be held on November 4th at the TU Berlin on the occasion of the first “Climate Lecture”

During its executive session of October 21, 2009, the Academic Senate of the TU Berlin resolved to bestow the title of Honorary Doctorate Dr. rer. oec. honoris causa (h.c.) on Professor Lord Nicholas Herbert Stern of Brentford. The award ceremony to be held on November 4, 2009, will be hosted by TU President Prof. Dr. Kurt Kutzler and Dean of the TU Faculty Planning-Building-Environment, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schäfer. On that day, Lord Stern of Brentford, Kt, FBA, professor at the renowned London School of Economics and author of the “Stern Report”, will inaugurate the first in a series of TU Berlin “Climate Lectures”. These lectures are organised in cooperation with Vattenfall Europe AG and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Lord Stern’s appearance in Berlin will take place a month before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

In the words of TU President Prof. Dr. Kurt Kutzler “Lord Stern’s innovative work and his successes in bringing climate change and related economics issues to the international agenda are driving further research and scientific expertise – TU Berlin is also dedicated to this objective. Nicholas Stern’s cutting edge research was also one of the main stimulus for establishing the Michael Otto Chair ‘Economics of Climate Change’ at TU Berlin last year. For me, this internationally unique Chair with its firm anchor in our university located in the heart of the German capital sends a strong signal to the rest of the world. The awarding of an Honorary Doctorate and Lord Stern’s appearance at our university for the first ‘Climate Lecture’ are tangible expressions of our firm commitment to meeting the challenge of climate change. We are purposefully participating in world-leading research activities, and in turn are making this expertise available to our students”, says TU President Prof. Dr. Kurt Kutzler.

Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer will present the laudatory address on the occasion of the “Climate Lecture”. He holds the Chair of “Economics of Climate Change”, which was initiated at the TU Berlin by the Michael Otto Foundation, and since 2008 has served as one of the three co-chairs of the working group “Preventing Climate Change” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Over the next seven years, solution strategies need to be identified that will help address climate and energy challenges, and on whose foundation a global approach to emissions trading can be achieved. According to Edenhofer, “As a brilliant economist Nicholas Stern has not only made significant contributions to our understanding of climate change from an economics point of view, but to international climate policies as well. He has convincingly shown that investments in climate protection make good economic sense”. According to Edenhofer, in his book “Global Deal” Stern energetically challenges all those who believe that the current globalisation-related crises are inevitable. Stern outlines the need for a reorientation of economic and climate policies “without getting lost in harmless utopias”. Stern’s lecture on the economics of climate change will give students and guests attending our “Climate Lecture” the opportunity to hear one of the 21st century’s pre-eminent scientists and foremost pioneers in the field of sustainable economy.

Personal Profile: Professor Lord Nicholas Herbert Stern of Brentford

Nicholas Stern was born in 1946; he studied mathematics at the University of Cambridge and economics at the University of Oxford, where he received his doctorate in 1972. He served for more than two decades as professor of economics at various universities, for instance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, the China People’s University in Peking, and from 1986 to 1993 at the London School of Economics. In his role as a scientist Lord Stern has earned broad international recognition, particularly in the fields of growth and development theory, government policy, and the economics of climate change. His exceptional standing as a scientist is demonstrated in the numerous important books he has published, in addition to more than 100 expert articles.

In 1994, Lord Stern started a second career as an adviser to international institutions and governments. He was chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1994 to 1999, and chief economist of the World Bank from 2000 to 2003. Between 2003 and 2007 he headed the economic commission of the British government. In this regard he was charged with compiling an exhaustive report on the economic aspects of climate change. The so-called “Stern Report” was a milestone in the worldwide climate discourse, since for the first time it was possible to present a concrete risk evaluation in conjunction with an assessment of the economic fundamentals of climate change. Published in October 2006, the report presented an exhaustive analysis of the economic consequences of climate change and quantified in detail the related costs that would accrue to society at large, were climate change not to be averted.

In his book “The Global Deal”, Stern defines economic approaches that could reconcile the need for climate protection with a just world economic order. He writes “The world’s citizens and politicians need to decide whether we will be able to maintain a global approach to saving our endangered planet, in addition to the commitment and cooperation we will need to do so”. He is convinced that our economic and climate policies need to be realigned in the context of a global agreement.

Note to media representatives:

You will receive invitations to the 1st Climate Lecture to be held on November 4 at TU Berlin and related Press Briefing with Lord Nicholas Stern, Prof. Dr. Kutzler, President of TU Berlin, Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, TU Berlin and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Tuomo Hatakka, CEO Vattenfall Europe AG with the press invitation number 260/2009.


Please feel free to contact us for further information:

Dr. Kristina R. Zerges
Spokesperson of TU Berlin
Stefanie Terp
Deputy Head
Tel.: 030/314-23922

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