Prof. Dr. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is one of the German pioneers in the range of reconciling ecology and economics. Being a member of the Club of Rome as well as an honorary member of the World Future Council, von Weizsäcker is a dedicated fighter for ecology. He is a realist and stands for the combination of economic interests that include environmental protection. His motto: if people do not want to part with their cars, the cars have to become more environmentally friendly.
He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Physics from Hamburg University in 1965 and obtained a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Freiburg four years later. In 1972 he became Professor of Biology at Essen University. He served as Founding President of the University of Kassel between 1975 and 1980. He later occupied the positions of Director at the UN Centre for Science and Technology for Development, New York (1981) and of Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy, Bonn, London, Paris (1984). Between 1991 and 2000 he served as Founding President of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate Environment and Energy.
In 1998 he became a Member of Parliament (SPD), and was Chair of the Bundestag Study Commission on Economic Globalisation and consecutively of the Environment Committee. From 2006 to his retirement in 2009, he was Dean at the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara. He is currently a Co-Chair on the International Panel on Sustainable Resource Use.
1998 to 2005 Weizsäcker was a member of the federal parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) and chaired the Commission Globalization of World Economy and the Committee for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
In 2011 Weizsäcker was awarded the Theodor Heuss Preis for his pioneering contributions to climate change and environmental protection.