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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



Federal Chancellor reappoints members of German Council for Sustainable Development

Berlin (Germany), 26 October 2016 – Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has reappointed the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE).

The 15-strong Council will consist of seven women and eight men.

Those appointed for the first time are:

  • Ulla Burchardt (former German MP)
  • Katherina Reiche (former parliamentary under-secretary of state; former German MP; Managing Director German Association of Local Utilities (VKU))
  • Dr. Werner Schnappauf (former Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection; former Director-General Federation of German Industries Development (BDI))
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml (Forest Research Institute Baden-Wuerttemberg (FVA), Freiburg i. Br.)
  • Achim Steiner (former Executive Director United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP; Director Oxford Martin School)
  • Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (former German MP; former Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development)

Those who have been reappointed are:

  • Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen (Full Professor of Capital Market and Management at the University of Hamburg)
  • Kathrin Menges (Executive Vice President Human Resources at Henkel)
  • Alexander Müller (former Assistant-Director General of the FAO; former State Secretary in the Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMVEL) Managing Director TMG. Think Tank for Sustainability and Study Lead TEEBAgriFood)
  • Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch (Copenhagen Business School, Chair of the Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs (SVRV) )
  • Dr. Imme Scholz (Deputy Director German Development Institute (DIE))
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster (former Lord Mayor of the City of Stuttgart; Chairman Deutsche Telekom Foundation)
  • Marlehn Thieme (Chairwoman ZDF Television Council; Member of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD))
  • Olaf Tschimpke (President of Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU))
  • Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger (Chairman of Friends of the Earth Germany (Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland, BUND))

The Council members will elect their chair from within their ranks during their inaugural meeting. The Council is assisted by the RNE Office headed by its Secretary-General, Prof. Dr. Günther Bachmann.

. . .

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) was first called into being in April 2001 by the German government of that time under Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. RNE comprises 15 public figures. Its tasks are to generate contributions for implementing the National Sustainability Strategy, to specify concrete fields of activity and projects and also to make sustainability a public issue of vital importance. RNE independently chooses its array of topics and actions. Examples of the outcomes of its current work include the Sustainability Code, statements on the government’s National Sustainability Strategy draft, on the Sustainable Development Goals, on climate policy, raw material policy and fiscal sustainability as well as on organic farming. It also includes the civil society initiatives of the sustainability project, the strategy dialogue with lord mayors on sustainable urban development, impulses from youths and young adults for municipal sustainability and German sustainability policy as well as RNE’s contributions towards the green economy.

Media Relations RNE

Katja Tamchina
German Council for Sustainable Development
Office c/o GIZ GmbH
Potsdamer Platz 10
D-10785 Berlin
Telephone: +49 (0)30/338424-233


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