As from September 1, Prof. Dr. Hermann E. Ott will work for the non-profit environmental law organisation ClientEarth and build up its German office in Berlin. ClientEarth employs legal instruments for the protection of climate and the environment. It supports, for example, lawsuits filed by the organisation Evironmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe e. V.) against twenty cities in order to protect citizens from harmful nitrogen oxides from diesel exhaust gases. Just recently, the Environmental Law Organisation was successful before the European Court of Justice in obtaining a court order prohibiting the deforestation of the last primeval European forests.
In addition to the existing offices in London, Brussels, Beijing, New York and Warsaw, the Berlin office is intended to provide a platform for the coordination of the many legal activities of various environmental organisations.
Hermann E. Ott studied Political Science and Law in Munich, London, and Berlin and completed his legal traineeship at the European Commission in Brussels in its environmental department, in Nairobi at the Ozone Secretariat of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and in the law firm Schily – Becker – Geulen. After his bar exam, he was employed there as a lawyer in the fields of environmental and criminal law. His PhD was earned with a thesis on "Environmental Regimes in International Law".
From 1994, Hermann Ott worked for the Wuppertal Institute in various functions, initially as project manager in the Climate Policy Division. From 1998, he ran the Division on an interim basis and then took over as Director until 2004. Starting in 2004, he founded the Berlin Office of the Wuppertal Institute and led it until 2009, when he became a member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) for the Green Party until 2013. From 2014, he continued working at the Wuppertal Institute as Senior Advisor for Global Sustainability and Welfare Strategies.
In 2016, Dr. Ott was appointed Honorary Professor of Global Sustainability Strategies and Governance at the Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences. Also since 2016, he has been a member of the board of the German Council for Nature Conservation. From 2001 to 2007 he had been a member of the Greenpeace Germany Supervisory Board. His work focuses on all aspects of climate, sustainability and environmental policy – in particular international law and politics – and the governance of a post-growth society.
"For over 20 years, Hermann Ott has shaped the work of the Wuppertal Institute and the national and international climate debate with his impulses. We thank him for his commitment and wish him every success in his new position," says Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewind, President of the Wuppertal Institute.
Hermann Ott hopes that, with his experience as a lawyer, environmental scientist and activist in politics and civil society, he can contribute to his new position: "The Wuppertal Institute has had a great influence on me and I highly value many excellent colleagues, whom I have been able to work with. I am very much looking forward to the new challenge – with ClientEarth it will be possible to support citizens and civil society and thus to decisively accelerate the transformation of our energy, transport and agricultural policy", adds Hermann Ott.