Press release

How can Europe keep spearheading the fight against climate change?

Dahrendorf Symposium 2013 to add fresh impetus to the climate debate.

Berlin, 13 November 2013 – How successful is Europe in fighting climate change? Can it live up to its role as an international pioneer? What challenges will Europe and its member states face in the future?

On 14 and 15 November 2013 – in parallel with the international climate conference in Warsaw – leading experts from academia, politics, and industry will meet for the Dahrendorf Symposium 2013 to add fresh impetus to the European climate debate.

Speakers, among others, include EU Commissioners Connie Hedegaard and Günther Oettinger, former Prime Minister of Italy Mario Monti, German politicians Cem Özdemir and Norbert Röttgen, Member of the British House of Lords Lord William Wallace of Saltaire, as well as Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) as well as Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel of UNEP.

This year’s Dahrendorf Symposium explores the theme “Changing the European Debate: Focus on Climate Change”.

The Symposium is a joint initiative of the Hertie School, London School of Economics and Political Science and Stiftung Mercator.

Five international and interdisciplinary teams of researchers have been working for over one year in London and Berlin on the topics:

  • “Infrastructure and Climate Change” (Felix Creutzig, MCC Berlin);
  • “Governance and Policy Aspects of Climate Change” (Claudia Kemfert, DIW Berlin/Hertie School, and Karsten Neuhoff, DIW Berlin)
  • “Social and Legal Aspects of Climate Change” (Conor Gearty, LSE);
  • “Economics and Climate Change” (Luca Taschini, LSE Grantham Institute);
  • “Europe and the World” (Helmut K. Anheier, Hertie School, and Odd Arne Westad, LSE).

The range of topics that will be discussed and contrasted with new research results includes:

  • The reform of international negotiation standards and legal framework;
  • Europe’s strategy for climate protection after „Europe 2020“;
  • The potential of Europe’s cities as drivers of climate friendly behaviour;
  • New mechanisms of taxation and funding that could benefit economic growth as well as climate protection.

The Dahrendorf Symposium, which is hosted every two years, is taking place in Berlin. Founded in 2011 in the spirit of Lord Ralf Dahrendorf, it aims to challenge entrenched patterns of thought and argument on the future of Europe and to add fresh impetus to the European debate. The symposium will be opened by the initiators Helmut K. Anheier, Dean of the Hertie School, Craig Calhoun, Director of LSE, Bernhard Lorentz, President and CEO of Stiftung Mercator, and Lady Christiane Dahrendorf.

The Dahrendorf Symposium 2013 is taking place at Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin.

Media representatives are kindly asked to register at press[at]dahrendorf-symposium[dot]eu or  via phone at+49 -030-259 219 113.
Further information: Programme, Twitter: @Dahrendorf_Sym / #DSym2013, at, the conference can be watched online via livestream.