Sometimes referred to as the Dutch Nobel Prize, the €1.5-million Spinoza Prize 2023 was conferred upon Dr Joyeeta Gupta – Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) – for her work in the field of climate justice in the Netherlands this week.
The Dutch Research Council (NWO) selection committee was deeply impressed by the scientific impact of Gupta's knowledge and called her research “incredibly broad and interdisciplinary”. Gupta researches how we can solve issues arising from climate change through good governance. At the core of her research is an attempt to unravel the connections between the climate crisis, global water challenges, possible solutions and justice. To this end, her work brings together various scientific disciplines, from international law and economics to political science, development studies and environmental studies.
She says: “What I want to try to do is ultimately work towards a global constitution.”
Peter-Paul Verbeek, Rector Magnificus of the UvA, said: “Justice for both people and the planet is the common thread in Joyeeta's work.
“She is relentlessly committed to climate justice, always looking beyond the boundaries of disciplines, realising that this is the only way to approach the climate issue. We are extremely proud of Joyeeta and of her receipt of the Spinoza Prize.”
Agneta Fischer, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at UvA, added: “It is wonderful to see this recognition of Joyeeta's work and her unbridled commitment, not only within our faculty, the UvA and the Netherlands, but around the whole world.
“Joyeeta's research is driven by her belief in a just and sustainable world. She is one of the most inspiring speakers I know, and an inspiration to many. I am incredibly proud and happy that she is one of us.”
Gupta has been Professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at the UvA since 2013 and is also a professor at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. She studied at Delhi University, Gujarat University and Harvard Law School, and obtained her PhD from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In addition to her professorship, Gupta is co-chair of the Earth Commission, founded by Future Earth and supported by the Global Challenges Foundation.
She was also lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) between 1988 and 2014, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Previously, she was co-chair of the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Environment Outlook-6.
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Gupta has authored many scientific publications and has served on the scientific steering committees of various different international programmes, including the Global Water Systems Project and Earth System Governance.
*Info: Spinoza Prize