Curriculum Vitae

Born 25 June, 1939 in Zürich, Switzerland, studied Chemistry and Physics (1965 Diploma, Hamburg University) and Biology (Ph.D. Freiburg University, 1969). Married to Christine von Weizsäcker, née Radtke, five children.

  • 1969–1972: Senior Fellow, Protestant Research Institute, FEST Heidelberg.
  • 1972–1975: Professor for Interdisciplinary Biology, University of Essen.
  • 1975–1980: Founding President, University of Kassel.
  • 1981–1984: Director at the UN Centre for Science and Technology for Development.
  • 1984–1991: Director, Institute for European Environmental Policy, Bonn, London, Paris.
  • 1991–2000: Founding President, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy.
  • 1998–2005: Member of the Bundestag (German Parliament), SPD, for Stuttgart.
    • 1999–2002: Chairman, Bundestag Study Commission on Economic Globalisation
    • 2002–2005 Chairman, Bundestag Environment Committee
  • 2002–2004: Member, World Commission on the Social Dimensions of Globalisation
  • 2006–2008 Dean, Donald Bren School for Environmental Science and Management, UCSB, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 2007– Co-Chair, International Panel on Sustainable Resource Use
  • 2008– Co-Chair, China Council Task Force on Economic Instruments f. Environment
  • 2008– free lance
  • 2012– Co-President, Club of Rome


  • 1978: Pfaff Prize for Education.
  • 1989: Premio de Natura, shared with PM Gro Harlem Brundtland.
  • 1991: Honorary Professor, Techn. University of Valparaiso, Chile.
  • 1991: Member, Club of Rome
  • 1996: Duke of Edinburgh Gold Medal of WWF International.
  • 2000: Honorary Degree, Soka University, Japan.
  • 2001: Takeda Award, shared with. F. Schmidt-Bleek.
  • 2008: German Environment Prize.
  • 2009: Federal Cross of Merit.

Selection of English Language Publications:

  • 1983: New Frontiers in Technology Application: Integration of Emerging and Traditional Technologies (w/ M.S.Swaminathan and Aklilu Lemma). Dublin, Oxford: Tycooly.
  • 1992: Ecological Tax Reform: Policy Proposal for Sustainable Development (w/ Jochen Jesinghaus) London: Zed Books.
  • 1994: Earth Politics. London: Zed Books. Available also in 4 other languages.
  • 1997: Factor Four. Doubling Wealth — Halving Resource Use. A Report to the Club of Rome (w/ Amory B. and L. Hunter Lovins), London: Earthscan. Available also in 11 other languages.
  • 2005: Limits to Privatization – How to Avoid Too Much of A Good Thing. (w/ Oran Young and Matthias Finger) London, Earthscan
  • 2009: Factor Five (w/ Charlie Hargroves). London, Earthscan.