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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



Marlehn Thieme re-elected as Chairperson of the German Council for Sustainable Development

The German Council for Sustainable Development at its inaugural meeting with Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (center) - Photo: André Wagenzik, © German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)

The German Council for Sustainable Development at its inaugural meeting with Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (center) - Photo: André Wagenzik, © German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)

Berlin, 22 November 2016 – Marlehn Thieme, a member of the Council of the Evangelical Church (EKD) in Germany who also chairs the Television Council that oversees Germany’s ZDF public television broadcasting station, will remain chairperson of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE). The Council Members re-elected Marlehn Thieme at the RNE's inaugural meeting on 22 November. Marlehn Thieme joined the RNE in 2004 and has been its chairperson since 2012, having already been re-appointed to this position in 2013.

Olaf Tschimpke, President of the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) was re-elected as deputy chairperson. Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel appointed the 15 RNE members for a three-year period on 1 November 2016. For six of them, this is the first time.

Following her re-election, Marlehn Thieme said that, 'Sustainability policy has never been as relevant as it is now. In the years ahead, we have to focus on the consistent and effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. On 1 December, Germany will take over the G20 Presidency. I expect the German Government to use the G20 process to implement the 2030 Agenda in this major group of countries and so generate the confidence this global process urgently requires. Global Sustainable Development Goals will only be successful if they are backed by society as a whole. For that reason, it is now more important than ever to engage experts, dedicated stakeholders and actors from all parts of society and to agree on jointly achievable steps and target outcomes for sustainability policy.'

The German Council for Sustainable Development consists of public figures from the business sector, church-based organisations, the environmental and science community and other areas of society. Its mission is to assist the German Government in implementing and further developing its National Sustainability Strategy.

The Council will discuss and adopt its agenda for the next three-year period at its regular meeting scheduled for January 2017.

The biographies and photos of all the RNE members appointed on 1 November are accessible online at:

. . .

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) was first convened in April 2001 by the German Government 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.

The Council is free to choose its own topics and form of action. Results from its ongoing work comprise, for example, the German Sustainability Code (GSC) and comments on the government draft bill for a National Sustainability Strategy and the global Sustainable Development Goals as well as statements on climate and raw materials policy, fiscal sustainability and organic farming. Further results include civil society initiatives that bear the Workshop N quality seal, strategy dialogue with mayors on ‘sustainable city’ development, youth-driven engagement in municipal sustainability and German sustainability policy as well as contributions to 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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