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New world-leading Grantham Research Institute opens for business as LSE joins forces with Munich Re on climate change

A new powerhouse to generate ideas for action on climate change was switched on by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) today as it launched the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.|

LSE also announced a partnership with insurance giant Munich Re|, which is investing £3 million in research to learn more about the economic impact of climate change.

Photograph of Jeremy GranthamThe Grantham Research Institute, under the leadership of Lord Stern of Brentford, will produce research and analysis on how society, politicians and financiers can hope to respond effectively to a warming world.

Its innovative research programme will include the work at the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (chaired by Professor Lord Stern) which has announced it is joining forces with Munich Re.

The funding from Munich Re - one of the world's leading reinsurers with huge expertise in assessing risks from natural catastrophes and the effects of climate change on their frequency and intensity - will pay for research which sheds new light on how climate change will shape the business markets of the future.

Philanthropists Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham founded the Grantham Institute at LSE with a donation of £12 million from their charitable foundation. The Economic and Social Research Council is contributing more than £5 million to fund the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy which was awarded jointly to LSE and the University of Leeds in open competition and, which is directed by Professor Judith Rees and Professor Andy Gouldson.

Professor Lord Stern said: 'The work we do here will help global society understand and make public policy in these crucial times. As we approach next year's critical Copenhagen round of international talks on climate change it's clear that we urgently need a global deal to cut emissions effectively, efficiently and equitably. '

'This is a creative example of the type of partnerships between charitable foundations, public money, the private sector and universities which reflects the kind of collaboration the world will need on climate change.'

Dr Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chief Executive of Munich Re, said: 'Two think tanks, Munich Re and LSE, are joining forces to combine their expertise on the topic of climate change. We are delighted to be working together on this key issue with one of the world's top economic research institutes and the leading academic at the interface of climate change and economics.'

'Climate change is a central strategic topic for Munich Re. We have to master the risk side. At the same time, we see opportunities for us in addressing the substantial demand for insurance-based solutions stemming from the very different strategies necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change and the ensuing challenges'.

Jeremy Grantham, Professor Ian Diamond of the ESRC, Dr von Bomhardt and Professor Stern all spoke at a public lecture to launch the Grantham Research Institute, which aims not only to inform and shape global policy on climate change but to stimulate public debate and understanding of the issues.


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Notes to editors

1. Lord Stern of Brentford is IG Patel Chair at LSE and former Chief Economist of the World Bank. As the head of the UK Government Economic Service and the government's advisor on the economics of climate change and development he published the Stern Review in October 2006. Earlier this year he published Key Elements of a Global Deal on Climate Change, suggesting a path to global agreement on emissions reduction.

2. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment is chaired by Lord Stern and directed by Professor Judith Rees. It brings 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.

It 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.

3. The Munich Re Programme at the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy will provide fundamental research targeting weak links in the chain running from basic climate science to industrial decision making. It will be overseen by Professor Leonard Smith.

4. The Munich Re Group operates worldwide, turning risk into value. In the financial year 2007, it achieved a profit of €3,937m, the highest since the company was founded in 1880, on premium income of approximately €37bn. The Group operates in all lines of business, with around 43,000 employees at over 50 locations throughout the world.

Previous press releases

6 October 2008