Ottmar Edenhofer

Ottmar Edenhofer

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 Deputy Director and Chief Economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). In addition, he heads 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.

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 former German Foreign Minister and now President-elect Frank-Walther Steinmeier and advises 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 this year, 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.

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.