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29 November 2023

Agora Council for Germany introduces new chairman

The Agora Council for Germany gathered for its first meeting under the new chairmanship of Dr Urban Rid at the end of November. The Council will meet in a different composition in part due to changes of function among the previous members.

Dr Urban Rid has succeeded Dr Hans-Joachim Ziesing as chair of the Council of Agora Energiewende. Rid has many years of experience working in government thanks to his career in the German Federal Ministry of Environment, the German Federal Chancellery and the German Federal Ministry of Economy. Until his retirement in 2019, Rid, who has a doctorate in law, was head of department for energy policy at the German Federal Ministry of Economy. He currently works as a consultant for two energy companies. In his role as chairman of the Council, Rid is responsible for leading its quarterly meetings.

"Successful climate policies combine social and economic considerations. I would like to promote this link in my new role as chairman of the Agora Council for Germany. The Council’s diversity reflects the debates taking place within society and I look forward to working with the Council members to provide important impetus for Agora’s work," says Dr Urban Rid.

"In Urban Rid we have someone taking over the chairmanship of the Council who has deep experience of shaping the energy transition," says Simon Müller, director for Germany at Agora Energiewende. "In over 20 years in federal ministries, he has actively helped to set many milestones in Germany’s energy transition policy. We can now benefit from this experience in the quarterly discussions held with Council members."

At the meetings, Agora representatives discuss the think tank's current projects and strategies on climate neutrality with the Council members within a confidential setting.

The Agora Council is made up of 26 high-level members who represent a broad spectrum of energy and climate policy stakeholders from politics, business, science and civil society in Germany.

The following members have been added: Dr Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action; Christian Pegel, Minister of the Interior, Building and Digitalisation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; Tiemo Wölken, member of the European Parliament; Ramona Pop, director of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations; Stefan Kapferer, chairman of the management board of 50 Hertz Transmission GmbH; Michael Lewis, chairman of the Management Board of Uniper SE and Prof Dr Mario Ragwitz, director of the Fraunhofer IEG.

"The current composition of the Agora Council strengthens the basis for decisively advancing our work on climate and energy policy," says Simon Müller. "I expect and look forward to having fruitful debates and critical scrutiny of our work at the Council meetings. We will continue to develop the Council’s membership going forward."

Members of the Agora Council for Germany include state, federal and EU policymakers as well as decision-makers and representatives from the German Federal Network Agency, trade unions, environmental and consumer organisations, transmission system operators, the energy-intensive industry and the energy sector. Members are not paid for their advisory role. The chairman receives an expense allowance. All members of the Council and further information on how it works can be found on the website: https://www.agora-energiewende.org/about-us/agora-councils

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