A public lecture on climate change given by Professor Thomas Sterner, organized by EfD in Ethiopia, has been attended by His Excellency Dr Aberra Deressa, State Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) and Chairman of the National Climate Change Forum of Ethiopia on the 2nd November 2009. The lecture was attended by 45 members from federal and regional governmental offices, non-governmental organizations, donors and embassies.
Professor Sterner in his lecture said that climate policy in one country alone is insignificant, unless it is also followed by all other countries. He noted that the issue of climate change is a global one and not country specific. Following on this, he acknowledged Africa’s attempt to have common stand towards the upcoming Copenhagen negotiations which in his view will put the continent in a stronger negotiating position.
Emphasizing this point the State Minister, Dr Aberra said that climate change will most significantly affect agriculture and thereby countries like Ethiopia whose economies depend on the sector. Dr Aberra noted the establishment of the National Climate Change Forum and the activities it has been undertaking as evidence of Ethiopian government’s commitment and concern with this timely issue.
His Excellency outlined activities the National Climate Change Forum as holding a National Conference on Climate Change, the celebration of Earth Day for the first time in Ethiopia and the holding of public hearing to voice concerns in view of applying pressure towards the Copenhagen negotiations.
The importance and timeliness of this lecture was emphasized and appreciate by Dr Alemu Mekonnen, Coordinator of EEPFE (EfD in Ethiopia) including by most of the participants of the lecture. A participant commented that the lecture was significantly presented not only to academics and policy makers, but in a way that it was relevant and significant to the public at large.
Professor Sterner has published over 50 articles in refereed journals, authored or edited 10 books and a large number of book chapters, official reports and journalistic articles. The main focus of his work has been on environmental policy instruments with applications to energy and climate, industry, transport economics and resource management in developing countries. He has extensive teaching, consulting and research experience in the areas of natural resource and environmental economics. Among other positions he is the president of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and received (with Martin Persson) the Myrdal Prize 2008 for their work on climate change.