Prof. Christian Azar
José Vasconcelos World Award of Education
Place of Ceremony: 08 Dec 2010
Field of Work: Energy and Environment
Institution: Chalmers University of Technology
The “JOSÉ VASCONCELOS” World Award of Education recognized Prof. Azar´s valuable contributions and broad influence in his teaching and research work aimed at the “welfare of mankind and the health of the planet”, concentrating on the link between energy and climate change. Prof. Christian Azar has been ranked in Sweden as the most influential person on environmental issues, but his influence goes well beyond national borders. In addition to advising two Swedish Prime Ministers on energy issues, he reported to the European Commissioner for the Environment and later co-shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his report to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Perhaps his greatest talent, however, is as a lecturer and speaker. Christian is known for his exceptional flair for getting complex scientific and economic issues across to experts and laymen alike, which he can do in five languages. His words have inspired students, industry leaders, policy makers and the public at large across Europe and beyond.
In addition to his oral skills, Professor Azar is recognized for his publications. He has published 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles, mainly in top scientific journals. His book on climate impact, Makten över Klimatet, was highly acclaimed throughout Sweden, even being hailed by critics as the “best book ever”. It offers a near-complete perspective on the climate challenge, using accessible language to explain the problems and put forward solutions, paying particular attention to the importance of shifts in public opinion and lifestyle.
Professor Azar has also co-developed and implemensted a user-friendly, interactive climate model, called Chalmers Climate Calculator, available on the internet, which can be used from anyone from total laymen through to policy makers and international negotiators.
His encyclopaedic knowledge of a wide range of subjects comes not only from academic study. Christian Azar has travelled extensively to developing countries, spending time in Mali, Senegal, Uganda, Brazil and Indonesia, for example, studying agricultural development, food prices and resource inequality, among other issues.
His energetic devotion to researching, writing and teaching in his field of study has made a significant impact on the understanding of sustainable development, energy and the environment. The 2010 “JOSÉ VASCONCELOS” World Award of Education is awarded to Christian Azar for his remarkable efforts for the wellbeing of mankind and the health of the planet.