Johan Rockström was awarded the French distinction Knight of the Legion of Honour for his commitment to a better environment and climate. Photo: French embassy, Stockholm

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A French knight

Johan Rockström awarded the French distinction Knight of the Legion of Honour

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Centre director Johan Rockström has been awarded the highest French order for military and civil merits for his commitment to a better environment and climate.

The National Order of the Legion of Honour (French: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur) was established by Napoléon Bonaparte more than two centuries ago in order to reward special efforts to serve the French nation, and “foreign citizens who have distinguished themselves by the services they have rendered to France”.

The Legion of Honour was awarded to Johan Rockström, during a reception at the French Ambassador’s residence in Stockholm, 15 December, by Ambassador Jacques Lapouge. Lapouge who has been the French Ambassador to Sweden since 2014. He was Ambassador for climate change negotiations from January 2013 until the summer 2014.

This award is first and foremost a recognition of Professor Rockström’s commitment to a better environment and climate, which also happened to be a strong priority of the French government in 2015 and in 2016 while France was in charge of the COP21 presidency

Jacques Lapouge, French ambassador to Sweden

At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal.

“Professor Rockström’s work about the nine planetary boundaries, has in particular helped to build a world-wide momentum for climate actions on the road to COP21, and, beyond, for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement,” continued Ambassador Lapouge.

Science, outreach and policy
Ambassador Lapogue continued by also praising Johan Rockström’s innovative work on water management as well as efforts in public outreach and policy advise to governments and business networks.

Johan, himself, took the opportunity to give a special thank to all colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and in particular he mentioned Malin Falkenmark and Carl Folke as invaluable mentors.

Last but not least, Ambassador Lapouge, wanted to thank Rockström for actively taking part in several climate conferences convened in France, for instance the “Energy for Tomorrow Conference” in Paris November 2016, and, in Sweden, in seminars organized by the French Embassy. He also pointed out that Rockström have been a valuable advisor to the former French Climate Ambassador Laurence Tubiana during her many visits to Stockholm.

“It is because of all the mentioned reasons, and you will have to admit that they are pretty convincing, that you have been deemed worthy, dear Johan, of becoming a member of the National order of the Legion of Honour,” concluded Ambassador Lapouge.

Related info

Johan Rockström is the director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is an internationally recognized scientist for his work on global sustainability issues. He helped lead the internationally renowned team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries framework, first published in 2009, with an update in 2015.

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