Founding Director emeritus
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M)
The Global Climate Forum initiates and performs innovative research on climate change and related global challenges. We are an association of institutes, companies, NGOs and individual researchers. We work in the network of governments, corporations and social movements that has formed around the issue of climate change. We do this by embedding our research in long-term stakeholder dialogues. Our aim thereby is not necessarily to reach a consensus, but to develop a variety of well-considered opinions. Often, this is the best foundation for sound decisions.
Our studies provide arguments for long-term climate mitigation and adaptation policies, ultimately leading towards a sustainable development path. GCF joint studies focus on problems, which different stakeholders have differing views on. GCF’s goal is to clarify differences and produce analyses that summarise and advance our state of knowledge in critical areas. The forum cultivates a pluralistic exchange in which different points of view are freely expressed and debated, on a basis of mutual respect.
Topics of interest for GCF joint studies are:
questions related to green growth
global aspects of the interaction between climate change and the socio-economic system
regional impacts of climate change
adaptation and mitigation
economic and political instruments for controlling greenhouse gas emissions
technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as more efficient energy use
the introduction of renewable technologies
integrated risk management related to climate change, etc.
GCF has considerable experience in participating in and organising national and international research projects and interdisciplinary science-stakeholder dialogues, organising international scientific conferences, and encompassing scientists, stakeholders (from energy, insurances, financial, computing and other economic sectors), NGOs, as well as policy makers through such activities.
In 2001, a group of people representing European research institutes, NGOs, and businesses founded the European Climate Forum. Gradually, our network has expanded well beyond Europe, through linkages with the US, China, Australia and other regions of the world. Therefore, in 2011 the members’ assembly decided to change the name of the organization to Global Climate Forum – GCF.
The Board of Directors consists of a minimum of four and maximum of seven members, including the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson. Members are elected for a period of two years. Re-election is possible.
The Global Climate Forum initiates and performs high-class research on climate change in close interaction with stakeholders. We provide a pluralistic communication platform in the emerging global field of governments, local authorities, businesses, and social movements.
This field is made up of linkages that lie beyond traditional ones between academic institutions and the nation states hosting them. It requires a capability to learn from each other in situations where consensus is impossible, perhaps not even desirable. As a key requisite for addressing the climate challenge in this spirit, GCF contributes to a theory of global socio-ecological systems, including the world economy that will enhance the capability to manage climate risks.
Objectives & Visions
Human greenhouse gas emissions change the Earth’s climate in ways that the changed climate may dangerously interfere with humankind. Climate change is therefore considered to be one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. No single solution will suffice to deal with it. This challenge has to be jointly tackled by science, policy, business and industry, NGOs, and the general public.
Numerous academic studies have been carried out on possible adaptation and mitigation policies. However, most of these studies have not fully considered the needs and perceptions of stakeholders affected by or effecting climate change.
Industry has made considerable efforts in reducing emissions, developing renewable energy technologies and contributing to emissions trading schemes. Most of this work, however, has been similarly divorced from academia.
No clear picture has emerged of the advantages and disadvantages of the different mitigation and adaptation options, let alone a consensus on a reasonable strategy to pursue.
The Global Climate Forum is a platform for joint studies and science-based stakeholder dialogues on climatic change. GCF brings together representatives of different parties concerned with the climate problem. The core activity of the Forum is to define and carry out joint studies; these shall provide arguments for long-term climate mitigation and adaptation policies leading ultimately towards a sustainable development path.
The groups we engage with systematically are from: