13 February 2012 – The Mercator Foundation and the European Climate Foundation are launching a joint initiative to promote the implementation of the energy transition in Germany. Under the title Agora Energiewende, the two foundations will work to give concrete shape to the discussion of the “hows” of energy transition. To this end, the foundations are making available a multi-million-euro sum to be spread over five years.

As of 1 April 2012, the director of the new initiative will be one-time Secretary of State and former CEO of environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Rainer Baake. Baake has led Deutsche Umwelthilfe since 2006, focusing on climate and energy issues.

“Rainer Baake is the right man to push forward, in concrete terms, the implementation of the energy transition in Germany,” said Bernhard Lorentz, Managing Director of the Mercator Foundation.

“In industry, government, and in NGOs, he enjoys real and bipartisan confidence and recognition,” said Johannes Meier, CEO of the European Climate Foundation.

Earlier in his career, Baake was acting District Administrator in Marburg-Biedenkopf. In 1991, Joschka Fischer appointed him State Secretary in the Hesse Ministry of the Environment. From 1998 to 2005, Baake was Permanent State Secretary under Jürgen Trittin at the Federal Environment Ministry. During this period, he was responsible for major environmental projects at the former federal government: the phasing out of nuclear power, renewable energy law, emissions trading, and the Kyoto Protocol.

The focal point of the Agora Energiewende, headquartered in Berlin, will be to engage energy stakeholders about how to achieve the central objective of Germany’s energy transition: almost complete decarbonisation by 2050. Aided by dialogue platforms, participatory processes, and research projects, it will improve the knowledge base about realisable paths towards the renewable age.

To learn more, visit the Agora Energiewende website, available in German and English.