Quotes about WBGU reports

"The reports of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) are an indispensable reference and resource on global environmental change policies. Every scientist, decision-maker and institution concerned with the pressing issue of environment and development should have them."

Prof Dr Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1998-2006 

"Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities, is a notable breath of fresh air at a time when shallow platitudes seem the order of the day. It is bold, meticulously crafted through argument (as opposed to assertion) and evidence, and rooted in a highly original conceptual framework that is both global in scope and differentiated. The report asserts the centrality of cultural and institutional change and does not shy away from being specific and programmatic at a moment when it seems that political discourses are increasingly disconnected from our highly fractious, unsustainable, violent and intolerant times. I recommend it as compulsory reading in the strongest possible terms."


Professor Edgar Pieterse, Director – African Centre for Cities (University of Cape Town) & Chairperson of the Cities Alliance Think Tank.

“The `World in Transition – Governing the Marine Heritage´ report presents a thought provoking look at crucial aspects of oceans governance. It resonates strongly with our thinking in the World Bank and among the partners of the Global Partnership for Oceans. Nation states, civil society and industry need to work together to support more sustainable and productive ocean use. This report makes a valuable contribution to global thinking on how best we might secure a sustainable future from healthy oceans.”

Rachel Kyte, Vice President, Sustainable Development, The World Bank (2014-2015)

"The geopolitical world is changing beyond recognition. The challenge of ensuring that in the future people can live better than today, while doing so within the Planetary Boundaries has yet to be met.  Markets and the environment are increasingly globalized.  Social protection and the search for equity are not, though there are interesting signs of change.  There are many international institutions, but few are global.  We have known for some time the necessary individual solutions required for the transition.  Now, the WBGU report `World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability´ offers us extremely interesting ideas on how we can bring all this together collectively through a new social contract that is global, equitable and green, and requires a new kind of global citizenship: the first steps toward a global political project for global sustainability."

Janos Pasztor, Executive Secretary UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability 2010-12

„The new WBGU-Study „A Social Contract for Sustainability” appears at a time in which people around the world are increasingly committed to creating a future that is both sustainable and climate-safe. The study shows that such a future will only be possible if governments, business and  civil society collectively set the right course, making the most of regional, national and global cooperation. An important call to cross-cutting integrated action, the book deserves wide recognition.“

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2010-2016)

"Biofuels have been represented by some as a silver bullet to the climate change threat, and by others as a fatal mistake set to destroy forests and increase hunger; they are neither. Sane and sensibly developed they offer a chance to reduce emissions, generate employment and diversify rural livelihoods. But widespread commercialisation without proper sustainability standards could prove a disaster, causing more environmental and human harm than good. The new WBGU report shows that a sustainable use of bioenergy is possible and outlines how opportunities can be exploited while at the same time minimizing risks. The report thus offers policy-makers valuable guidance for a sustainable bioenergy policy."

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2006–2016)

"With Climate Change as a Security Risk, WBGU has compiled a flagship report on an issue that quite rightly is rising rapidly up the international political agenda. The authors pull no punches on the likelihood of increasing tensions and conflicts in a climatically constrained world and spotlight places where possible conflicts may flare up in the 21st century unless climate change is checked. The report makes it clear that climate policy is preventative security policy."

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2006–2016)

„With its interdisciplinary approach, providing a complex and systematic analysis of the poverty-environment nexus, WBGU's latest report breaks new ground. Indira Gandhi's old, convenient maxim was 'Poverty is the biggest polluter'. Put forward at the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, it has been sorely misused ever since to override environmental precaution and prioritize economic development strategies instead. The new WBGU report maps out a way to shape a coherent environment and development policy. This report revitalizes the Rio spirit and gives it a robust scientific base“

Prof Dr Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Member of the German Bundestag 1998-2005.

"The publication of 'World in Transition: Towards Sustainable Energy Systems' is timely indeed. The World Summit on Sustainable Development gave great attention to this challenge, but failed to agree on a quantitative, time-bound target for the introduction of renewable energy sources. The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has now produced a report with a global focus; this is essential in view of the global impacts of climatic changes. The report provides a convincing long-term analysis; this, too, is essential, for global energy policies must take a long-term perspective, over a time frame of 50 to 100 years, while providing concrete guidance for decision makers to be implemented now. There is an urgent need to identify paths by which to secure energy supply for the 2.4 billion people who still depend upon traditional biomass, while keeping clearly in view the need to combine this challenge with the prevention of perilous climatic changes. Our one world must close the gap between industrialized countries’ surfeit and developing countries’ poverty. Policies will need to consider both the broader environmental and specific climate exigencies. I recommend this book very warmly to everyone concerned with global energy issues."

Prof Dr Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 1998-2006.