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Climate researcher Latif awarded German Environmental Prize

Hamburg-born professor for oceanology and climate dynamics Mojib Latif has received the German Environmental Prize. He shares the award with the Stockholm sustainability scientist Johan Rockström.

German President Joachim Gauck handed out the German Environmental Award to the scientists Mojib Latif and Johan Rockström on Sunday in Essen. The president underlined that it was "high time" to act on the protection of the environment.

Ahead of the climate summit in Paris in November and December, the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) decided, for the first time, to award the prestigious prize to two scientists who devote themselves to the study of climate and sustainability. The DBU described its choice as "a wake-up call for the protection of the Earth."

The 61-year-old Mojib Latif is a professor for oceanology and climate dynamics at GEOMAR, the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in the German city of Kiel. Johan Rockström (49) is the head of the Stockholm Resilience Center, an international center that advances transdisciplinary research for the governance of socio-ecological systems.

The emeritus professor Michael Succow from Greifswald received the DBU's special award for his lifelong engagement in the protection of nature and wildlife.

'If the climate was a bank, we would have saved it'

Mojib Latif underlined the major role of oceans as driving forces of the climate in his speech on Sunday. The climate and humankind itself depend on the well-being of oceans, he said, stressing the urgency of reducing emissions.

"If the climate was a bank, we would have all saved it already," he stated.

In his various publications, he addresses experts as well as the general public.

In an

interview with DW

, he expressed his confidence that the young generation is ready and able to use renewable energy to avert catastrophic climate change.

das/rc (EPD, KNA)

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