Dr Werner Schnappauf

Lawyer and consultant; Former Minister of State

Three questions for Dr Werner Schnappauf

Let’s get to it: What does sustainability mean to you? What do you associate with the term?

Dr Werner Schnappauf: Sustainability is all about making provisions for a good future, about replacing our throw-away mindset with long-term thinking, about resilience and harnessing the power of innovation. Against the backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine, now more than ever we have to prove that liberal, democratic societies are capable of pulling off the transition to a sustainable economy and way of life and can do so better and faster than authoritarian systems.

What is your personal priority in your work as part of the Council for Sustainable Development?

I am particularly passionate about the Joint Action for Sustainable Development. Not only is the transformation a mammoth task, it’s one we need to accomplish in record time, something we can only achieve with new partnerships between society, business and politics. Time to get to work together!

In the context of sustainability, what do you believe will pose the greatest challenge in the coming years?

The cornerstone for achieving climate neutrality will be successfully restructuring our energy system. Solar power, wind energy and hydrogen all open the door for new partnerships with our neighbours – especially in Africa.


Dr Werner Schnappauf has been a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development since November 2016 and was its chair from 2020 to 2022.

Curriculum vitae

Dr Werner Schnappauf detailed CV available to download (PDF, 75 KB)


“Sustainable development requires greatest possible recognition of commonalities as well as acceptance of differences.”

Press photo

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Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Photo: Viviane Wild © RNE

Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Photo: Viviane Wild © RNE

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