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Future peace and prosperity will no longer be within our reach, if we in Germany do not commit more resolutely to greater sustainability and channel all our energy into making it happen – be it in politics, business, science or civil society.

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 and identifying interrelationships are major success factors for anchoring this topic 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

The global sustainability and climate protection goals are the long-term milestones. Now we have to engage in an honest discussion about what the state, private sector and citizens can and must do to achieve them.

Kathrin Menges, Member of the Council

Kathrin Menges

The energy revolution has greatly reduced the costs of green electricity, so it is competitive at international level and helps to achieve the global sustainability goals without additional CO2 emissions.

Alexander Müller, Member of the Council

Alexander Müller

The idea of sustainability is at the core of a viable, innovative economy and is vital for a society that aims to safeguard quality of life in the long term. That is why the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – must be considered together.

Katherina Reiche, Member of the Council

Katherina Reiche

Make the sustainable choice the easy choice.

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

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch

Sustainable development requires to find as much common ground as possible but also to accept differences.

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 forest science, we learned how important the sustainable management of natural resources is centuries ago. Empirical knowledge, openness to new things and humility in the face of nature can help other sectors, too.

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

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

The UN Sustainable Development Goals present the vision of a fundamental socio-ecological transformation. They are not a specialist task for development or environmental policy, but are binding for all cabinet members.

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the Council

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul


Councils for Sustainable Development should be thorns in the sides of governments

Councils for Sustainable Development should be thorns in the sides of governments

The European Conference on Sustainability under the EU Presidency points the way forward

Berlin, 5 June 2007 “Energy policy-making shouldn’t just focus on climate protection alone, because adjustment measures, competitiveness, development co-operation, and social harmony also have major roles to play. If we’re to have integration, we need the Councils on Sustainable Development,” said Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, member of the Council and former Director of the UNEP, speaking at the European Conference on Sustainability. Delegates representing all areas of policy-making for sustainability in EU Member States, Russia and Turkey urged, “Wherever governments prove incapable of setting the right priorities, this role should be taken on by Councils for Sustainable Development. By taking up inconvenient themes, they should be thorns in the sides of governments. Only when Councils on Sustainability bring the costs involved in non-action to public attention, for instance, will things start to move.”

The Director General for European Affairs at the Federal Foreign Office, Peter Tempel, reminded the Conference that a great many people consider European strategy-making for sustainable development as little more than a “talking shop”, but he underlined that the German government viewed sustainable development as the guiding principle for policy-making on both a national and a European level.”

The Council for Sustainable Development has organised the conference European Sustainability Berlin 07 ESB07 on behalf of the German federal government. 160 European experts from 22 European countries, from governments and society have come together to discuss sustainability strategies.

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