Decision of the Federal Cabinet

New members of German Advisory Council on Global Change appointed

Berlin, 3 December 2008. The German Advisory Council on Global Change has been appointed again by the Federal Cabinet for a period of four years. The new members of the Council are:

Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen, Institute for Advanced Study of the University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr

Prof. Dr. Reinhold Leinfelder, Director General of the Museum of Natural History at the Humboldt-University, Berlin

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute, Bonn, and Professor for Political Science, University Duisburg-Essen

Prof. Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Professor of Energy Economics, Vienna University and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg

Prof. Dr. Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam University and head of the Climate System department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber CBE, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and visiting professor at Oxford University

Prof. Dr. Sabine Schlacke, Professor of Public Law, especially German, European and International Environmental Law, Administrative Law

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmid, President of the Institute for Solar Energy Technology, Kassel and Professor at Kassel University

Prof. Dr. Renate Schubert, Professor for economics at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology and director of the Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)


New secretary general

Prof. Dr. Meinhard Schulz-Baldes, long-serving Secretary-General, has gone into retirement. His successor is Dr. Inge Paulini, who previously was Head of Department at the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

Assessment of global environmental changes and early warning

The German federal government set up WBGU as an independent, scientific advisory body in 1992 in the run-up to the Rio Earth Summit. The Council's principal tasks are to:

analyse global environment and development problems and report on these,

  • review and evaluate national and international research in the field of global change,
  • provide early warning of new issue areas,
  • identify gaps in research and provide impulses,
  • monitor and assess national and international policies for the achievement of sustainable development,
  • elaborate recommendations for action and research and
  • raise public awareness and heighten the media profile of global change issues.


WBGU publishes flagship reports every two years, making its own choice of focal theme. In addition, the German government commissions the Council to prepare special reports and policy papers.