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In the second lecture of the 2020 ESB/IIEA lecture series, entitled REthink Energy, Professor Edenhofer assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable economics and climate policy. He highlights that coal continues to play a crucial role in the energy mix of many countries despite shared ambitions to transition to net zero emissions. Professor Edenhofer argues that investments in climate protection are at risk in the age of COVID-19 due to the severe contraction in global GDP, and as such, a European fund for climate protection could be a powerful tool to safeguard climate investments.

About the Speaker:

Professor Ottmar Edenhofer is Director and Chief Economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). He is also Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Technical University Berlin and founding director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). Professor Edenhofer is a leading expert on the economics of climate change and his advice is regularly sought by the German government and the World Bank. From 2008 to 2015 he served as Co-Chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and contributed heavily to the shaping of the Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation which provided the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement. In 2020, Professor Edenhofer was awarded the “Umweltpreis” – the most prestigious environmental prize in Germany.