The Council has nine members, appointed for a term of four years by the federal cabinet (Bundeskabinett), having first been nominated by the Ministries of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). These two ministries provide the funding for the Council. The current term runs to October 2016. The Council is monitored and supported by an interministerial committee of the federal government comprising representatives of all ministries and of the federal chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt). The Council holds eleven regular two-day meetings each year.
The Council's first term of office was from 1 June 1992 to 30 June 1996, its second term of office from 1. June 1996 to 31. October 2000, its third term from 1. November 2000 to 31. October 2004, its fourth term from 1. November 2004 to 31. October 2008, its fifth term from 1. November 2008 to 28. February 2013 and its sixth term from 1. March 2013 to 31. October 2016. The Council is now in its seventh term, until 31. October 2020.
The Council Members are:
Prof Martina Fromhold-Eisebith
Chair of Economic Geography, Dept. of Geography at RWTH Aachen University. Research focus: innovation oriented regional development, global-local dynamics of economic spaces, sustainability and regional development.
Prof Ulrike Grote
Director of the Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade, Leibniz Universität Hannover.
Prof Ellen Matthies
Professor for Enviromental Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg.
Prof Karen Pittel
Director of the Ifo Center for Energy, Climate and Exhaustible Resources and Professor of Economics, University of Munich.
Prof Hans Joachim (John) Schellnhuber CBE
Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and chair of the Governing Board of the Climate-KIC of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
Prof Ina Schieferdecker
Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS and Professor at the Technische Universität Berlin.
Prof Sabine Schlacke (Chair)
Director of the Institute for Environmental Law and Planning Law at the University of Münster
Prof Uwe Schneidewind
President and Chief Research Executive oft he Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and Professor for "Sustainable Transition Management" at the University of Wuppertal.