Three questions for Gunda Röstel
Let’s get to it: What does sustainability mean to you? What do you associate with the term?
Gunda Röstel: Sustainability for me means holding our actions accountable to our grandchildren. Without self-censorship or fear of loss but instead grounded in good ideas and joy for what lies ahead.
What is your personal priority in your work as part of the Council for Sustainable Development?
Transforming the energy supply cross-sectorally to achieve climate neutrality poses a major challenge, as does how we deal with resources to achieve a truly circular economy. On one side of the coin, we face the ambitious ramp-up of renewables, the market for liquid hydrogen and creating an efficient network of interconnected infrastructures. On the other, we are talking maximum resource efficiency, recyclability and proven sustainability for the materials we do use. We need to manage climate change and biodiversity in parallel and as a matter of course. Personally, I would like the Council for Sustainable Development to support those in positions of political responsibility with solid advice, to encourage them through difficult decisions, openly discuss conflicting goals and help overcome these obstacles with a good dose of realism.
In the context of sustainability, what do you believe will pose the greatest challenge in the coming years?
The transformations that lie ahead are complex. The greatest challenge is breaking down this complexity into bite-size chunks to empower and inspire people to get involved. We need to foster understanding, break down barriers and boost collective and individual action alike. Sustainability must become THE cultural, common multiple in our society. The Joint Action for Sustainable Development platform created by the RNE lays solid foundations for this vision.
Gunda Röstel has been a member of the German Council for Sustainable Development since January 2020. She was elected Deputy Chair at the Council’s inaugural meeting on 15 February 2023.
Gunda Röstel detailed CV available to download (PDF, 79 KB)
“For me, sustainability means holding our actions accountable to our grandchildren. Without self-censorship or fear of loss but instead grounded in good ideas and joy for what lies ahead.”
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