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Dr Klaus Töpfer — Founding Member of the CSCP — Awarded the Prestigious State Prize

Prime Minister Armin Laschet awarded the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia to Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer on 16 September for his decades of outstanding commitment to international service in environmental protection, nature conservation and global sustainable development, as well as for his service to his home state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The award ceremony took place in the former plenary hall of the German Bundestag in Bonn, and the encomium of the event was held by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, who was the successor to Prof. Klaus Töpfer in 1994 as Federal Environment Minister of Germany.

Executive Director of the CSCP, Micheal Kuhndt and Cristina Fedato, leader of the SIPS team were honoured to be invited to the ceremony. Congratulating Prof. Töpfer on the state award, Mr Kuhndt said “Prof. Töpfer’s legacy and work is an inspiration for all of us at the CSCP, where we continue to take his vision forward with our work in sustainable development and consumption. This award rightly recognises the tireless work he has done for the environment while in public service.’’ Prof. Töpfer along with Prof. Peter Hennicke from the Wuppertal Institute founded the CSCP in 2005.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Armin Laschet said, “Climate change presents us with unprecedented challenges – global challenges that can only be met if we pull together internationally. Foreign policy is therefore today more than ever climate foreign policy. Prof. Klaus Töpfer was one of the first to recognise the global significance of climate protection and was a strong and successful advocate for solutions at the highest level – regionally, nationally and globally. He is a true pioneer of climate foreign policy, which has promoted worldwide environmental protection, growth, social balance and the preservation of creation in dialogue with the international community. Like no other, he stands as a champion and early admonisher for global environmental protection”.

Eckart von Hirschhausen, the State Police Orchestra and the choir designed the supporting programme for this State Award Ceremony. The choir group, BonnVoice sang the song “Africa” by Toto, in response to the great African commitment of Prof. Klaus Töpfer.

Photo by Land NRW / Ralph Sondermann Galerie