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