Executive Board

Theme 1: Climate protection & transformation: Decarbonisation – Competitiveness – Quality of life

Christian von Hirschhausen

Christian von Hirschhausen

Christian von Hirschhausen is Professor of Economics at the Workgroup for Economic and Infrastructure Policy (WIP) at Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), and Research Director at DIW Berlin (German Institute for Economic Research). He received a PhD in Industrial Economics from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris and was the Chair of Energy Economics at TU Dresden.

Von Hirschhausen focusses on the regulation and financing of infrastructure sectors, mainly energy, and is a regular advisor to industry and policymakers (e.g. World Bank, European Commission, European Investment Bank, several German Ministries). His research analyzes energy technologies, and is leading larger research projects on renewables, fossil fuels, and nuclear energy in Germany, Europe, and abroad.

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Elmar Kriegler

Elmar Kriegler

Elmar Kriegler is Acting Head of the Research Department "Transformation Pathways" at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). He is directing the integrated assessment of mitigation and sustainable development pathways at PIK. His core expertise is in integrated assessment modelling of climate change, scenario analysis and decision making under uncertainty.

Kriegler had a coordinating role in the development of the Shared-Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) in support of new scenarios for climate change research. He is also member of the scientific steering committee of the Integrated Assessment Modelling Consortium (IAMC). Kriegler has been a lead author in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WG III) and in the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C Warming and is currently serving as a lead author in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (WG III). He has published more than 80 articles in refereed journals and was named Highly Cited Researcher in 2018.

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Jan Minx

Jan Christoph Minx

Jan Christoph Minx heads the MCC "Applied Sustainability Research" Working Group and is Professor of Climate Change and Public Policy at the Priestley International Centre for Climate (University of Leeds). He pursues an interdisciplinary research approach covering energy, climate change and sustainable development. His research focusses on four areas: Societal transformation processes and their governance, human well-being and sustainable development, climate change paths and atmospheric CO2 removal, and science-policy exchanges and the future of global environmental assessments. He is particularly interested in methods of evidence synthesis in order to reconcile the rapidly growing scientific literature for robust political decision-making.

Prior to his engagement at the MCC, Minx headed the Technical Support Unit of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). There he and his team coordinated the working group's contribution to the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report. He is currently a lead author of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report.

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Theme 2: Climate protection: Instruments and policies after COP21

Achim Wambach

Achim Wambach

Achim Wambach has been President of the ZEW (Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research) since April 2016. He is a member of the Monopolies Commission since July 2014 and was elected chairman in March 2016. In September 2018 he was appointed Co-Chairman of the Commission Competition Law 4.0 of the German Federal Government. From 2015-2018 Achim Wambach was a member of the steering committee of the German National Platform for Electric Mobility (NPE) as well as of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Further Development of the Risk Structure Compensation Scheme. He is also a member of the Academic Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, acting as its chairman from 2012-2015.

Wambach obtained a PhD in Physics at the University of Oxford and a Master of Science in Economics at the London School of Economics. He completed his habilitation thesis in economics at the University of Munich. His fields of interest include market design and competition policy.

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Martin Kesternich

Martin Kesternich

Martin Kesternich is deputy head of the ZEW Research Department “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management” and has been a Professor in economics, with a special focus on environmental and resource economics, at the University of Kassel since January 2019.

He studied economics at the University of Mannheim and the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires, before receiving his doctoral degree in economics from the University of Hamburg in 2015. Holding a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Martin Kesternich was a visiting scholar at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

His research interests encompass experimental and empirical approaches in the fields of environmental and behavioural economics.

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Marc Frick

Marc Frick is academic assistant to the head of the Research Department “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management” at ZEW. He studied philosophy at Heidelberg University, majoring in the history of economic thought and political philosophy. In his doctorate at he Chair of Modern Political Theory at Heidelberg University, he deals with different forms of exchange, in particular the comparison of market and gift exchanges. From 2015 to 2019, he worked together with a team led by Professor Malte Faber on a project of science communication which aimed to develop an approach for the digital communication of scientific findings on environmental and economic topics. He now contributes to the coordination of theme 2 of the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change.

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Theme 3: Dealing with climate risks

Kati Krähnert

Kati Krähnert

Kati Krähnert is a development economist. She currently heads, jointly with Christoph Gornott, the Working Group “Adaptation in Agricultural Systems” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University of Berlin (2010) and a MA in Social Anthropology and Economics from Free University of Berlin (2005).

Her research focusses on the economic impact of climate change on households in developing economies, using an applied micro-economic approach, in order to advise policy stakeholders. She also evaluates the effectiveness of policy measures designed to strengthen the resilience of households. Krähnert has broad experience collecting household-level data in developing countries, including Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Ghana, Rwanda, and Mozambique.

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Frank Wätzold

Frank Wätzold

Frank Wätzold studied at the London School of Economics and the Freie Universität Berlin where he graduated as a Diplom-Volkswirt. After obtaining a PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin, Frank Wätzold worked as a senior scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and as a Professor for Land Economics at the University of Greifswald. Since 2010, he holds the chair of "Environmental Economics" at the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus.

Key research areas include the evaluation of policy instruments for the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of ecosystem services as well as the economic analysis of climate adaptation measures. Frank Wätzold received the UFZ research prize jointly with Karin Johst and Martin Drechsler in 2018 for his work in the field of ecological-economic modelling. He is active in policy advice and serves a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Biodiversity and Genetic Resources for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

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Lutz Philip Hecker

Lutz Philip Hecker is an environmental economist and a postdoc at the Department of Economics, in particular environmental economics at Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus (BTU). He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the BTU Ph.D. programme „Environmental and Resource Management“, a MA in Economics from University of Mannheim and a MA from Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena in Philosophy, Economic sciences and Romance studies.

His research focuses on the economic analysis of environmental instruments in developing and industrialized countries. Within the Dialogue on the Economics of Climate Change he engages with the theme ‘Dealing with climate risks’.

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Theme 4: International climate policy

Karen Pittel

Karen Pittel

Karen Pittel was appointed Professor of economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in 2010 after her habilitation at ETH Zurich. She is the director of the Center for Energy, Climate and Resources of the Ifo Institute.

Pittel has been a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) since 2016, was a member of the German Research Foundation's Committee on Future Earth from 2013 to 2018 and has been a member of the Bavarian Climate Council since 2015. In 2019 she was appointed to the steering committee of the science platform on the Climate Protection Plan 2050.

The research interests of Karen Pittel are in the areas of energy, climate and resource economics with a focus on the transformation of energy systems and the long-term effectiveness and efficiency of climate and energy policies.

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Cross-cutting theme: Financial markets, financial sector and climate finance

Ottmar Edenhofer

Ottmar Edenhofer

Ottmar Edenhofer is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Professor for the Economics of Climate Change at the Technical University Berlin as well as founding director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). Furthermore, he is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and of the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech.

Edenhofer has published numerous articles in leading journals and authored various books. From 2008 to 2015 he served as Co-Chair of Working Group III of the IPCC, shaping the Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation substantially, which has been considered a landmark report and provided the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement.

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Kai Lessmann

Kai Lessmann

Kai Lessmann is a senior researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, where he leads the research group “FutureLab Public Economics and Climate Finance” since 2019 and previously was the head of the research group “Policy Instruments Modeling” since 2009. He holds a diploma in Applied System Science from Osnabrück University and a doctorate degree from TU Berlin.

His research focusses on instruments and institutions to implement climate policy. Lessmann has explored incentive mechanisms of international climate agreements and cooperative climate policy, the optimal implementation of domestic climate policy in second best settings, and in integration with public finance and, more recently, the interaction of climate policy and the financial system. Lessmann has employed a broad toolbox of methods based on game theory, theoretical and numerical modelling, and environmental economics in particular. He has published in a wide range of economic and general interest journals and contributed to assessments of the IPCC and the IPSP.

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Karsten Neuhoff

Karsten Neuhoff

Karsten Neuhoff leads the "Climate Policy" Department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and is Professor at Technical University Berlin. He holds a Master in Physics from Heidelberg University and a PhD in Economics from Cambridge University.

His research interests focus on the economics and financing of a low-carbon transformation in the power, industry and building sector. He investigates how policies and markets can be designed to achieve carbon neutrality. In research and advice projects for national governments, EU Commission and international organizations and as board member of the research network Climate Strategies he brings together multi-disciplinary teams and engages stakeholders to enhance quality, relevance, and uptake of the research. He published 60 journal articles and (co-)authored the books “Planetary Economics: Energy, Climate Change and the three domains of sustainable development” and “Climate Policy after Copenhagen - The Role of Carbon Pricing.”

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Ingmar Jürgens

Ingmar Jürgens has been on leave from the European Commission since March 2017 for research work at the DIW Berlin. In June 2013, Ingmar was appointed Senior Economic Advisor of the European Commission in Germany. From 2012-2013, Ingmar spent a sabbatical as Associate Director of the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)  and worked as an advisor to the Green Climate Fund. From 2010 to 2012 he was coordinator of the EU Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in the EU Directorate General CLIMA and from 2007-2010 in the EU Directorate-General for Industry and Enterprise responsible for economic analysis of energy and climate policy, coordinating the work on carbon leakage. At the United Nations FAO (2003 and 2007), Ingmar was responsible for developing and expanding carbon finance, climate adaptation and bioenergy programs. From 2002-2003 Ingmar worked at the OECD.

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