News | RTL Group | Hamburg, 07/08/2022

Nobel Prize Money Donated To ‘Geo Protects The Rainforest’

Klaus Hasselmann was awarded the Nobel Prize last year for his fundamental research on climate change. Now he has donated his prize money of €200,000 to the Hamburg-based association “Geo schützt den Regenwald” (Geo protects the rainforest). Founded by “Geo” magazine reporters, the association has worked since 1989 to protect the climate and the diversity of species by preserving tropical and subtropical forests.

Klaus Hasselmann, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics, is donating his prize money of €200,000 to the Hamburg-based association “Geo schützt den Regenwald” (Geo protects the rainforest). The physicist and former director of the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Meteorology received this highest of scientific awards for his fundamental research on climate change. “It is high time that we all did something about global warming,” declared Prof. Dr. Klaus Hasselmann. “My wife Susanne and I feel that ‘Geo protects the rainforest’ projects are exemplary in this regard.”

Since 1989, the association founded by reporters from the magazine “Geo” has been committed to protecting the climate and the diversity of species by preserving  tropical and subtropical forests. In more than 30 years, it has realized around 90 projects. The association reports that it is currently active in Ecuador, Ethiopia, Nepal, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its collaborative development work  focuses on the needs of local people: What support do they need to preserve their forests?  

Development of a separate project

“We are deeply grateful to Klaus Hasselmann for his extremely generous donation,” said the association’s managing director Ines Possemeyer. “His research on global warming was groundbreaking and helped put this issue at the top of the political agenda worldwide today. We will develop a separate climate project in Klaus Hasselmann’s name: custom-tailored and serving as a model and example.” To this end, the association has formed a working group, with Joachim Schnurr and Martin Burian from the Climate Competence Center of the GFA Consulting Group volunteering as advisors. Further supporters for the climate project are very welcome: “Klaus Hasselmann has tossed a stone into the waters with his donation, and we are hoping for the widest ripple effects possible. We would like to make his project as effective as possible and are happy about anyone who makes a financial contribution,” explains Possemeyer. One renowned climate protection expert has already joined the initiative: Heiko von Tschischwitz, founder of Lichtblick, Germany’s first and biggest green electricity provider. He is donating €100,000 to the Hasselmann project, including all the proceeds from his climate thriller “Die Welt kippt,” which will be published by Ullstein on September 1.

“Geo Protects the Rainforest” funds its work not only through donations, but also through supporting memberships from private individuals and companies, as well as funds from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation. 100 percent of donations and membership fees flow into its project work. RTL Deutschland provides its offices, accounting, and IT services free of charge. “All of us in the editorial and publishing departments are proud of the work done by this association,” declares “Geo” editor-in-chief Jens Schröder. “That’s because it carries the DNA of ‘Geo’ within it: scientifically sound, sustainably conceived and done with a lot of heart and soul.” Geo” itself also contributes to climate protection: on its way to becoming a climate-neutral magazine, “Geo” has already been able to save more than a third of all its CO2 emissions. Since the beginning of 2022, the magazine’s production and distribution have been climate-neutral.