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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
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Volker Hauff: US climate proposal unconvincing

Sustainability strategies are the key to overcoming the climate crisis

Berlin, 4 June 2007 Volker Hauff, chairman of the Council for Sustainable Development newly appointed by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is not convinced by President Bush’s climate initiative.

Quoting Albert Einstein, Hauff points out that there can be no solution for a problem based on the thinking that led to the problem itself. “The Bush proposal negates the economy of climate policy,” comments Hauff. The market economy is causing the manmade climate change, just as it caused sulphur emissions in the past. “We can only solve the problem if we give the market economy strict parameters, with upper values and an emission limit.” Every market needs rules and limitations to encourage free growth, says Hauff. “We must make the market an ally in reducing CO2 efficiently, and that means it needs upper limits for emissions and all relevant CO2 targets. The US government’s proposal overlooks this aspect.”

Volker Hauff calls for global action on climate protection. “Europe’s place is in the driving seat.” Hauff suggests that Europe should not wait any longer, but press ahead with key climate protection programmes. Climate protection will make the European economy more innovative and competitive on the global markets and more attractive for many global business partners, if it aims at a “low-carbon” economic system, he adds. Because climate protection is a highly complex task with a variety of measures to be taken at once, Volker Hauff sees sustainability structures as a key to successful management of the climate crisis.


The Council for Sustainable Development has organised the conference European Sustainability Berlin 07 ESB07 on behalf of the German federal government. 150 European experts from governments and society have come together to discuss sustainability strategies.

There will be an opportunity for interviews with Björn Stigson, the President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, at approximately 6 pm today. Please register in advance.

The European sustainability experts will also be meeting tomorrow, 5 June 2007, in the Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Jägerstraße 22/23.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

The Council for Sustainable Development has been commissioned by the German government to hold the central sustainability event of Germany’s presidency of the European Union, from 4 - 5 June.

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