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Sustainability requires that decisions be made - not in the distant future, but now.

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council

Marlehn Thieme

The principle of sustainability is the only option for responsible global action; it protects our eco-systems and thus ensures the survival of generations to come.

Olaf Tschimpke, Deputy Chairman of the Council

Olaf Tschimpke

Measuring sustainability is a key success factor to establish environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues in companies and on capital markets.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen

Avoiding past mistakes means pointing progress in the right direction: the principle of sustainable development is a good compass for technical and social innovations at local, national and global level.

Ulla Burchardt, Member of the Council

Ulla Burchardt

To create quality of life and reduce the consumption of resources it involves requires that we take further steps in incorporating sustainability in everyday action as employees, consumers, and citizens.

Kathrin Menges, Member of the Council

Kathrin Menges

The Energiewende has reduced the costs of green energy severely. It thus is competitive internationally and contributes to achieve global sustainability goals without additional CO2 emissions.

Alexander Müller, Member of the Council

Alexander Müller

Die Idee der Nachhaltigkeit ist zentral für eine zukunftsfähige, innovative Wirtschaft und unabdingbar für eine Gesellschaft, die Lebensqualität langfristig sichern will. Deshalb gilt es, die drei Säulen der Nachhaltigkeit – Ökonomie, Ökologie und Soziales – zusammen zu denken.

Katherina Reiche, Member of the Council

Katherina Reiche

Sustainable consumption behaviour will continue to be embraced merely by a dedicated minority for as long as the wrong incentives are provided and structures fail to support it.

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch

Nachhaltige Entwicklung erfordert größtmögliche Gemeinsamkeiten ebenso wie die Akzeptanz von Unterschieden.

Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Member of the Council

Dr. Werner Schnappauf

Today, sustainable development requires an agenda which explicitly links global and national goals and policies and thus gives global cooperation a strong push forward.

Dr. Imme Scholz, Member of the Council

Dr. Imme Scholz

In der Forstwirtschaft haben wir vor Jahrhunderten gelernt, wie wichtig der nachhaltige Umgang mit natürlichen Ressourcen ist. Erfahrungswissen, Aufgeschlossenheit für Neues und Demut vor der Natur können auch anderen Branchen helfen.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml

Cities, even more so than today, will become hubs of technological and social development in the future. All the more important are efforts to encourage the sustainable development of our cities.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster

Die Nachhaltigen Entwicklungsziele (SDGs) der Vereinten Nationen verpflichten alle Länder zu neuem Denken und Handeln. Grenzen und Möglichkeiten der Globalisierung bemessen sich an ihnen.

Achim Steiner, Member of the Council

Achim Steiner

We need to make bold political decisions that reward growth less and sustainability more and that encourage the common good instead of profit-seeking.

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger

Die Nachhaltigkeitsentwicklungsziele der UN stellen die Vision einer grundlegenden sozial-ökologischen Transformation dar. Sie sind keine entwicklungspolitische oder umweltpolitische Fachaufgabe, sondern binden alle Kabinettsmitglieder.

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the Council

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul


7th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development

The Power of the Future - The Demands of Today’s World

Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand

7th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development

27 November 2007
Berliner Congress Center (bcc)
Alexanderstrasse 11, D-10178 Berlin
8.30 a.m. to approx. 7 p.m.

New Zealand is the first country in the world to declare sustainable development with a CO2-neutral economy a national goal. We are therefore very happy to welcome New Zealand’s Prime Minister Helen Clark to this yearly conference, and very much look forward to her presentation of her policy aims, as well as our own Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will come to speak about Germany’s sustainability policies.

Volker Hauff, Chairman of the German Council for

For the generations that will follow us, “the Future” will be shaped by what we leave behind, the burdens they will inherit caused by our habits of economic management and consumption.

The decisions that we are making in terms of climate change and energy concerns, resources and social flux, also have increasing relevance for our children’s children - for better or worse. That is why we have to be much more decisive in our efforts to infuse current understandings of justice, freedom, responsibility and social interdependence with the ideas of sustainability and maintainability. That’s what “the Future” demands of us. And it is powerful; those who oppose it, lose.

We have just begun the work that is slated to lead to a new sustainability strategy in Germany in 2008. These attempts are about finding effective and binding ways to demonstrate sustainability and justice in our dealings with future generations.

Personal exchange between the parties involved and decisionmakers is an intrinsic aspect of further developing the sustainability mindset, and this year’s „Mission Sustainability“ Communications Project has shown in an impressive way that everyone can make a contribution. The Council for Sustainable Development, newly elected in May, wants to intensify this exchange even more.

(Dr. Volker Hauff, Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development)


Speech by Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark to the German Council for Sustainable Development
(Berlin, 27 November 2007, Website der Regierung Neuseelands)

Speech by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel
(Berlin, 27 November 2007,, in German)

Press Releases:

"Volker Hauff fordert verbindliche Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie
Lob und Kritik für Bundeskanzlerin
Neuseeland als weltweiter Vorreiter"

(Press Release, 27 November 2007, in German)

"Mission Nachhaltigkeit
Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung zeichnet Gewinner aus"

(Press Release, 27 November 2007, in German)

Pressekonferenz und Fototermine

7. Jahreskonferenz des Rates für Nachhaltige Entwicklung: "Die Macht der Zukunft, Was von uns heute verlangt wird" am 27. November 2007
(Press Release, 12 November 2007, in German)

Further information:

"Merkel: Nachhaltigkeit ist Leitprinzip unserer Politik"
Meldung der Bundesregierung, 27.11.2007

Nationale Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie [PDF,, in German]
Konsultationspapier der Bundesregierung zum Fortschrittsbericht 2008

Website der Bundesregierung zum Dialog Nachhaltigkeit (in German)

Invitation, Programme and Forums [PDF, 1,325KB]
(version of 4 September 2007)

Informationen zum Lernworkshop "Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement in KMU - Wie umsetzen?" am 27. Nov. 2007 im Rahmen der Jahreskonferenz (Forum 6);

Downloads zum Lernworkshop:
Protokoll des Lernworkshops „Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement in KMU – Wie umsetzen?“ am 27. Nov. 2007 im Rahmen der Jahreskonferenz (Forum 6) [PDF, 43KB, in German]

KMU-Lernworkshop: Einladung und Programm [PDF, 62KB, in German]

"Vorbild BILD-Klimakampagne? Pro & Contra"
Kommentar von Ratsmitglied Marlehn Thieme und Diskussion im Rahmen der Debatte "Große Fragen: Kann man mit Bild die Erde retten?" auf (in German)

Pictures of the Councilà´s Annual Conference on 27 November 2007 in Berlin

Please click on the photos to zoom.

Photos: Torsten Seidel, © German Council for Sustainable Development

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