Category: Intergenerational Equity

About Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, German Scientist

Professor Schellnhuber’s official short biography reads:

“Born in 1950 in Ortenburg (Germany). Training in physics and mathematics with a scholarship for the exceptionally gifted at Regensburg University. Doctorate in Theoretical Physics in 1980. Various periods of research abroad, in particular at several institutions of the University of California system (USA). Habilitation (German qualification for professorial status) in 1985, then Heisenberg Fellowship. 1989 Full Professor at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Sciences (ICBM) of Oldenburg University, later Director of the ICBM.

“1991 Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); since 1993 Director of PIK and Professor for Theoretical Physics at Potsdam University. 2001-2005 additional engagement as Research Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Professor at the Environmental Sciences School of the University of East Anglia in Norwich (UK). From 2005 – 2009 Visiting Professor in Physics and Visiting Fellow of Christ Church College at Oxford University as well as Distinguished Science Advisor for the Tyndall Centre. Since 2010 External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

“2002 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award; 2004 CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) awarded by Queen Elizabeth II; 2007 German Environment Prize; 2008 Order of Merit (“Roter Adlerorden”) of the State of Brandenburg; 2009 “Ambassador of Science” of the State of Brandenburg. Elected Member of the Max Planck Society, the German National Academy (Leopoldina), the US National Academy of Sciences, the Leibniz-Sozietät, the Geological Society of London, and the International Research Society Sigma Xi. Ambassador for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). Longstanding Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who was awarded the Peace Nobel Prize in 2007.

“Active service on numerous national and international panels for scientific strategies and policy advice on environment & development matters. Selected previous and current engagements: Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU); Chair of the Global Change Advisory Group for the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission, Member of the corresponding panel for FP7; Member of the Committee on Scientific Planning and Review of the International Council for Science (ICSU); Member of the Environment Steering Panel of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC); Member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Climate Change; Member of the Grantham Research Institute Advisory Board.

“Chief Government Advisor on Climate & Related Issues for the German G8-EU twin presidency in 2007; Member of the High-Level Expert Group on Energy & Climate Change advising J.M. Barroso, President of the European Commission.

“Member of the Editorial Boards of the scientific journals “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, “Climatic Change”, “Climate Policy”, “Gaia”, “Integrated Assessment”, “Systems Analysis, Modelling, Simulation” and “Europe’s World”.

“About 210 articles and more than 40 books in the fields of condensed matter physics, complex systems dynamics, climate change research, Earth System analysis, and sustainability science.”

Credit: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Website

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Hans Joachim Schellnhuber on Intergenerational Equity


Professor Schellnhuber discusses intergenerational equity and the role of youth.

Asked the question: what advice do you have for younger generations?

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At COP-15, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber was a member of the High-Level Expert Group on Energy & Climate Change advising J.M. Barroso, President of the European Commission. Professor Schellnhuber is from Germany, a nation in Europe.

Bruce Hewitson on Ethics vs. National Interest

Hewitson_ethical vs practical

Question asked: do ethical interests gain ground in the negotiations or are practical interests more directly addressed?

Hewitson’s answer: Hewitson comments that countries almost exclusively favor their national interests to altruism. He notes that certain groups, such as the European Union, have made altruistic sacrifices (by my colleague, Brett Shollenberger’s, best definition: actions that are not economically, socially, or politically beneficial to a nation in the short term, with the exclusion of intergovernmental social and political interaction). Hewitson argues, however, that altruism is the only way to achieve intergenerational equity. He feels that the United States’ target of 17% reductions relative to 2005 levels by 2020 is inequitable (to put it nicely).

Want to learn more about this interviewee? About Bruce Hewitson

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At COP-15, Bruce Hewitson was a South African climatologist working with the Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG).

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