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Priestley Chair of Climate Change and Public Policy appointed

Centre news
Press release

Jan Christoph Minx, head of the working group “Applied Sustainability Science” at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), has been appointed a professorship at the Priestley International Centre for Climate.

The Centre was founded in 2015 by the University of Leeds to bring together world leading expertise in the field of climate change research. Minx, who will be continuing his successful work at the MCC, is expected to assume the “Priestley Chair of Climate Change and Public Policy” in January 2018.

“It is a real honour for me to join the Priestley International Centre for Climate at one of the most reputed and thriving universities in the UK,” says Minx. “This provides great opportunities to contribute to climate solutions based on excellent research.”

This joint professorship marks the beginning of a new phase of international collaboration for the MCC. “We are proud to join forces with such a prestigious institution,” says MCC Director Ottmar Edenhofer. “Our cooperation emphasizes the importance of linking education, high-class research and solution-oriented policy recommendations to guide current and future decision-makers on a solid, scientific basis.”

Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley Centre, is equally excited by the new appointment. “MCC is one of the world’s leading climate policy institutes and we are excited to build a closer working relationship with them,” he said. “The appointment of Professor Minx will bring unparalleled opportunities to show how UK and European partners can work closely together, even with the current political uncertainty over Brexit.”

Prior to his occupation at the MCC, Minx worked at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). There, he coordinated the contribution of the Working Group “Mitigation” for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. He takes an interdisciplinary research approach to issues of energy, climate change and sustainable development.

Minx is particularly concerned with developing an understanding for processes at the science-policy interface, as well as meta-analytical methods that aim to provide robust scientific information to those involved in the decision-making. This includes, for example, synthesizing knowledge on the key policy options to achieve sustained emissions reductions, including carbon dioxide removal technologies, a topic that has gained particular resonance over recent years.

“We are currently witnessing an unprecedented explosion of scientific publications in the field of climate change. The application of big data tools to deal with this big literature challenge is key and the synthesis of knowledge is becoming a critical new field of research. Today’s policy makers need such knowledge maps to be able to make informed decisions in an increasingly complex world,” says Minx.

About the MCC

The MCC explores sustainable management and the use of common goods such as global environmental systems and social infrastructures in the context of climate change. Seven working groups conduct research on the topics of economic growth and development, resources and international trade, cities and infrastructure, governance and scientific policy advice. The MCC was jointly founded by the Mercator Foundation and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).