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Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer

Expert on the Environment and Sustainable Development

Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer is the recently appointed founding director of the Institute for Advance Sustainability Studeies (IASS) which will perform research between climate problems and sustainable economics. The institute funding will be provided by the Federal Government of Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research. He is known internationally for his personal commitment to protect the environment and promote sustainable development. He actively contributed to the success of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and was a forerunner in the negotiations for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the establishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

"Widely recognized as having spearheaded environmental policy as Minister of Environment"

Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer speaker profile photo

In detail

Klaus Töpfer became Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Director-General of the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) in 1998. He was also appointed Acting Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements from 1998 to 2000. Before joining the United Nations, Klaus Töpfer held several posts in the Federal Government of Germany. In 2007 he was appointed Professor for Environment and Sustainable Development at Tongji University Shanghai.

What he offers you

Prof Toepfer explains in detail his vision of a social market economy and his strategies to make the environment work to improve the lives of present and future generations. He explains how the environment is not a hindrance for economic development and how protection of natural resources and regulations on the use of harmful substances trigger technology development and create exciting new opportunities, markets and jobs.

How he presents

An experienced teacher and engaging speaker, Prof. Toepfer challenges audiences with his hard hitting yet inspirational presentations.


He presents in English and German.

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  • The Social and Economic Implications of Global Climate Change
  • The Opportunities Created by Climate Change
  • The Future of the Environment
  • Sustainable Development
  • Globalization


  • Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Honorary Professor of Tongji University, Shanghai
  • Honorary Doctor of the Technical University of Brandenburg
  • Honorary Doctor of the Free University of Berlin and of the University of Essen.

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