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Ethics Commission on a "Safe Energy Supply"

Commission to work swiftly and thoroughly

The Ethics Commission appointed  by Chancellor Angela Merkel is to reassess the risks posed by nuclear energy against the backdrop of events in Japan. The outcome is to be an energy strategy that has the support of the whole of society and will provide guidelines for the decades to come.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will be attending the first meeting of the Ethics Commission on a “Safe Energy Supply” in Berlin. 

Before the Commission met, the Chancellor explained what the government hoped to achieve. “We aim to build a broad consensus within society and ensure a high rate of acceptance for the move towards renewable energies.” To this end, the Ethics Commission is to reassess and classify the risks posed by the use of nuclear power by the end of May.

Weighing up the risks 

The work of the Ethics Commission is geared to reassessing the risks for society. The concrete risks will emerge in part from the technical safety review of Germany’s nuclear power plants. This review is the responsibility of the Commission on Nuclear Safety, which is to present its report by mid-May. 

It is up to the Ethics Commission to judge how we should deal with these risks in future. Both the report of the Commission on Nuclear Safety on the outcome of the review of all 17 German nuclear power plants and the assessment of the Ethics Commission will be incorporated in the political decisions taken by the German government. It is a question of which and how many of the country’s nuclear power plants are to be closed down for good. The seven oldest plants have been shut down for the duration of the three-month moratorium.

Commission members

The members of the Ethics Commission on a "Safe Energy Supply" include personalities from the realms of politics, business, civil society and the churches.  

It is to be headed by the former Federal Environment Minister Klaus Töpfer and the President of the German Research Foundation (DFG), Matthias Kleiner.

The other members of the Commission are:

  • Prof. (emeritus) Dr. Ulrich Beck, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich 

  • Klaus von Dohnanyi

  • Dr. Ulrich Fischer, Bishop of Baden
  • Alois Glück
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jörg Hacker, President of the German National Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors BASF
  • Dr. Volker Hauff
  • Dr. Walter Hirche

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reinhard F. J. Hüttl, President of acatech

  • Prof. Dr. Weyma Lübbe, Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Regensburg

  • Dr. Reinhard Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich

  • Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch, Professor at the Copenhagen Business School

  • Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn, Managing Director and Head of the Department of Technological and Environmental Sociology (SOWI V), University of Stuttgart

  • Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Head of the Environmental Policy Research Centre at the Free University of Berlin

  • Michael Vassiliadis, Chairman of IG BCE (Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union)

Monday, 04. April 2011

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