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Multi-million donation for climate change at LSE

The London School of Economics and Political Science has received over £12 million from philanthropists Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham to establish the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The Institute will be chaired by Lord Stern of Brentford, author of the 2006 Stern Review, and bring together international expertise on economics, finance, geography, the environment, international development and political economy to establish a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research and training in climate change and the environment.

Photograph of Grantham Institute donationIt will work closely with the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London established last year also with a donation of £12 million from the Grantham Foundation. A common advisory board will oversee the work of both Institutes.

The Grantham's total investment of over £24 million, made through the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, is one of the largest private donations to climate change research.

Professor Stern said: 'As scientists continue to play their role in analysing the causes and effects of climate change, it is crucial that social scientists take a lead in the building of policy. The Grantham Institute will produce high-quality, policy-relevant research, alongside a range of outputs designed to support policy development, raise public awareness and contribute to private-sector strategy formation.'

The LSE will collaborate with the engineering, scientific, medical and technological expertise of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial to build links between the natural and scientific study of and policy towards climate change and its effects.

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE will act as an umbrella body for LSE's contribution to climate change and environment. This will include the work of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, to be established at LSE this year with £5 million over five years from the Economic and Social Research Council. The ESRC Centre is a partnership between Leeds University and LSE, managed by Professor Judith Rees and Dr Andy Gouldson.

Together the funding from the Foundation and the Research Council will enable the School to work with its partners in Imperial and Leeds to provide global leadership towards policy on climate change.

By acting as a policy-focused space for a network of academics, business leaders, campaigners, policy-makers, media, general public and other interested groups, the Institute will generate:

  • Policy-relevant research on the economics of climate change, specifically on international target-setting carbon markets, international technology support, and the economics of deforestation and biofuels
  • Engagement and awareness amongst policy-makers and the corporate sector through a series of conferences, seminars, public lectures and workshops on topical issues related to the economics of climate change
  • Public engagement and awareness raising (globally) through regular communication concerning the economics of climate change
  • Interaction with national governments, international governmental organisations and private businesses that are crucial to the economic mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial, said: 'This new institute at LSE opens the door for vital new collaborations between Imperial's science, engineering and healthcare experts and LSE's social and economic specialists to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our planet today.

'The creation of this new institute, alongside Imperial's Grantham Institute with its links to the University of Reading, provides the UK with a hub of research excellence which can grapple with every aspect of climate change and all the challenges it presents.'


Notes to editors

1. Lord Stern of Brentford is IG Patel Chair at LSE and former Chief Economist of the World Bank. As the Government's advisor on the economics of climate change and development he published the Stern Review in October 2006.

2. Jeremy Grantham is chairman and co-founder of GMO, a USD 140 billion global investment management company based in Boston with offices in London, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney and Zurich.

Mr Grantham earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Sheffield and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a trustee of the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and also serves on the investment boards of several non-profit organisations in the US.

Mrs Grantham is a director of the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, RARE and the Textile Museum of Washington. Born in Bremen, Germany, she earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from Brandeis University in Boston.

3. The LSE studies the social sciences in their broadest sense, with an academic profile spanning a wide range of disciplines, from economics, politics and law, to sociology, information systems and accounting and finance.

The School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is one of the most international universities in the world. Its study of social, economic and political problems focuses on the different perspectives and experiences of most countries. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe.
Visit http://www.lse.ac.uk/ for more information.

Further information:
LSE press office 020 7955 7440

April 17th 2008