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posted 06/19/06

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The Earth Institute and the University of Iceland Sign Agreement to Promote Research Cooperation and Academic Exchange

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, president of the University of Iceland; Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, and Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Iceland on June 13, 2006.

Photo credit: Jóra Jóhannsdóttir

The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the University of Iceland signed an agreement on June 13, 2006 endorsing increased academic exchange, scholarly collaboration and research between the two institutions. The agreement sets the stage for future cooperation on global climate change, sustainable development and technological responses to climate change.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and special advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, president of the University of Iceland. The memorandum states that the two institutions will encourage a range of activities to promote cooperation between their scientists, students, faculty and administrative staff, as well as departments, research and service units. In particular, these activities will include:

  • Joint research and scholarly collaboration; Special emphasis on climate change, sustainable energy solutions, technology responses to climate change and on sustainable development under a broad perspective.
  • Developing and initiating joint projects and seeking cooperation with other scientific institutions.
  • Sharing scholarly materials and learning and teaching resources.
  • Exchanging students and support for international student mobility initiatives.
  • Visits by, and exchange of, faculty members, researchers and staff.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland and took place at the third meeting of the Earth Institute’s Global Roundtable on Climate Change. The Roundtable is a semi-annual meeting that brings together a wide range of interests to answer difficult questions about how society should face possible future changes to the Earth's climate caused by increasing energy demand and rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

About The Earth Institute
The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world's leading academic center for the integrated study of Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines — earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences — and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through research, training and global partnerships, it mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world's poor.

About The University of Iceland
The University of Iceland and its scientists have played a significant role in research and policy making in Iceland regarding sustainable usage of natural resources and in development of sustainable energy solutions. In 1998 the University of Iceland was a key player in the implementation of a future hydrogen economy in Iceland with the establishment of Icelandic New Energy and the cooperation with Shell Hydrogen, Norsk Hydro and DaimlerChrysler.