Frans Berkhout

Frans Berkhout


  • Professor of Environment, Society & Climate, Geography
  • Phone81075
  • WC2B 4PH

    United Kingdom

  • 7799
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Personal profile

Biographical details

Frans Berkhout is Professor of Environment, Society and Climate in the Department of Geography and Assistant Principal (King's Climate & Sustainability) at King’s College London, joining King's in 2013. From 2015 to 2021 he served as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy. Before that, he was also Director of the Future Earth programme, based at the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris. Prof Berkhout directed the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the VU University Amsterdam in The Netherlands (2004-2012), while also being founding Director of the Amsterdam Global Change Institute. Among other advisory roles, Professor Berkhout was a lead author in two Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007 and 2014) and a member of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He sits on the editorial boards of Journal of Industrial Ecology, Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning and The Anthropocene Review. He is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences and shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for contributions to the IPCC.

His early research was concerned with the economic, political and security aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Over the last 20 years, his work has been concerned with science, technology, policy and sustainability, with a focus on climate change. His main academic contributions have been to the understanding of innovation in socio-technical systems and adaptation to climate change impacts by organisations.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Radioactive waste: Institutional determinants of policy in the UK, Germany and Sweden, University of Sussex

Award Date: 1 Jan 1989


  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • Innovation
  • Policy studies
  • climate change
  • adaptation
  • socio-technical transitions


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