Issue 12, September 2009
homepage > The Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protection of the Environment
The Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protection of the Environment

A new international prize, the Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protextion of the Environment, has been endowed by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation in collaboration with the City of Hamburg. City Mayor Ole von Beust, City Senator for the Environment Anja Hajduk and Foundation President Anthony S. Papadimitriou announced the future awarding of “Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protection of the Environment” May 28, 2009, speaking at Hamburg City Hall.

 
The launching of the TINA ONASSIS in Hamburg (25/7/1953)
The launching of the TINA ONASSIS in Hamburg (25/7/1953)
The prize is to be awarded in Hamburg every two years for “outstanding contributions towards protecting and improving the environment, including the long-term economical use of energy” and it may be given to individuals or organizations of all kinds, other than politicians or political parties. It is one of the highest-endowed environmental prizes in the world, carrying an award of EUR 250,000.

“Our efforts to protect the climate, resources and the environment are increasingly respected, including outside Germany”, said City Mayor Ole von Beust. “With the Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protection of the Environment, we are now seeing a major international environmental prize coming to Hamburg for the first time. The internationally-constituted nominations committee under the chairmanship of City Senator for Urban Development and the Environment Anja Hajduk is outstanding, from the Hamburg viewpoint, in recruiting Dr. Michael Otto and ‘ZEIT’ journalist Christiane Grefe alongside international scientists.”

City Senator Anja Hajduk stressed: “In view of the massive challenges of climate change and in environmental policy, the Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protection of the Environment comes at just the right time. It aims to publicize outstanding research and projects in this area and to offer solutions. The new environmental prize will be a further advertisement for Hamburg’s competence in relation to protection of the environment and the climate.”

Up: the President of the Onassis Foundation and the First Mayor of the city of Hamburg give a Press conference in Hamburg Town Hall<br />
Down: From left, the Ambassador of Greece in Germany, Anastasios Kriekoukis, the President of the Onassis Foundation, Anthony Papadimitriou, the First Mayor of the city of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, the Senator for Urban Development and the Environment of the City of Hamburg, Anja Hajduk and the spokesperson of the City of Hamburg, Kristin Breuer.
Up: the President of the Onassis Foundation and the First Mayor of the city of Hamburg give a Press conference in Hamburg Town Hall
Down: From left, the Ambassador of Greece in Germany, Anastasios Kriekoukis, the President of the Onassis Foundation, Anthony Papadimitriou, the First Mayor of the city of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, the Senator for Urban Development and the Environment of the City of Hamburg, Anja Hajduk and the spokesperson of the City of Hamburg, Kristin Breuer.

“The Onassis Foundation and the City of Hamburg share a bond which goes back to the period when the undisputed leading shipping personality of the 20th century, Aristotle Onassis, was expanding his business”, said Anthony S. Papadimitriou, President of the Onassis Foundation. “Among his pioneering initiatives in the early 1950s has been the order for the construction of a series of tankers in German shipyards, thus offering this industry the significant opportunity for revival and growth. In present time, both the Onassis Foundation and the City of Hamburg share as a priority the concern for major issues concerning the protection of the environment. For those reasons, we were already looking at Hamburg as a potentially suitable venue for the awarding of the “Aristotle Onassis Prize for the Protection of the Environment”. What rapidly convinced us were the major efforts being made by Hamburg to link together urban development, climate and environmental protection. Our prize is genuinely at home here.”

The Awarding Committee comprises a total of nine people, under the chairpersonship of Senator Anja Hajduk. The members are: Anthony S. Papadimitriou, , Christiane Grefe, journalist (DIE ZEIT) and author of “Der Globale Countdown, Gerechtigkeit oder Selbstzerstörung – die Zukunft der Globalisierung“ [“The global countdown, justice or self-destruction – the future of globalisation”], Prof. Peter Koutrakis, Professor of Environmental Sciences at Harvard University (USA), Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif, climate researcher and Professor at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Dr. Michael Otto, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Hamburg retail and services group Otto; Chairman of the Foundation Board of the environmental foundation WWF Deutschland; Chairman of the Committee of the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection; Chairman of the Committee of the charitable association Gesellschaft für Politik und Wirtschaft e.V., Prof. Dr. Michael J. Skoullos, Professor of Environmental Chemistry at Athens University, chemist and oceanographer, and Christine von Weizsäcker, biologist; awarded the Kant World Citizen Prize in 2006; has worked for food safety and biological diversity via ratification of the UN’s Cartagena Protocol, which regulates the use of genetic engineering in agriculture. A ninth member is to be announced shortly.

The first award will be in autumn 2010.

- top of page -
Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation | Tel. +30 210 3713000 | Fax. +30 210 3713013 | Email: pubrel@onassis.gr