Thursday, 30.09.2021 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm CEST | Online via Zoom and at the Hertie School Forum

Join us for the inaugural event of the Centre for Sustainability, a hub for teaching, research, and policy analysis. A focus of our work is the global transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.  

On Thursday, 30 September, we invite members of our community to participate in a debate on the challenges and opportunities of 1.5°C stabilisation for Europe and Germany against the backdrop of the EU Commission’s Fit-for-55 package proposal and the tasks ahead of the new German government.  

Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, will provide keynote remarks followed by perspectives from Dr. Franziska Brantner MdB,  Dr. Norbert Röttgen MdB, and Jesse Scott, the Director of International Programme at Agora Energiewende.  

Christian Flachsland, Director of the Centre for Sustainability, will moderate the discussion.

This event will be hosted in a hybrid format, with a limited number of guests able to join in person at the Hertie School. Please register by Friday, 24 September 2021.


Dr. Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the IEA since September 2015. Under his leadership, the IEA has undertaken its first comprehensive modernisation programme since the creation of the Agency in 1974. Prior to his nomination as Executive Director, Dr. Birol spent 20 years as a staff member at the Agency, serving most recently as Chief Economist. He has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential people on the world’s energy scene and was recognised by the Financial Times as energy personality of the year.

Dr. Franziska Brantner, MdB is the parliamentary leader and spokesperson for European policy in the Bundestag faction of ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). She has been in Bundestag since 2013. Prior to that she was a Member of European Parliament for four years. Born in Baden-Württemberg, she studied political science and graduated from universities in Paris and New York. She obtained a doctoral degree in Mannheim, researching the possibilities to reform the United Nations. Her topics embrace women's and human rights, foreign and security policy, EU and family policy. She is also member of the board of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly.

Dr. Norbert Röttgen, MdB, has served as a Member of German Parliament since 1994 and served as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag from 2014-2021. From 2009 to 2012, he was Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. During his mandate Dr. Röttgen has fulfilled key functions within the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and is currently part of its executive committee. Dr. Röttgen, who is a lawyer by profession, holds a PhD in Law from Bonn University. He is the Co-Chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), President of the Club of Three, Governor at Ditchley Foundation and Board Member of various institutions, such as the Hertie School, the Atlantik-Brücke, Asia House, and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

Jesse Scott is the International Director at think tank Agora Energiewende. She leads Agora’s work on the energy transition beyond Europe in major and emerging economies, including energy systems research projects, collaborations with a global network of think tanks, and political strategy. Before joining Agora in February 2019, Jesse worked at the International Energy Agency in Paris where she was a lead author of the Agency’s pathbreaking report on the opportunities and risks of digitalizing the energy system. Prior to that, she worked for fifteen years in Brussels on European Union energy and climate policy-making, for the electricity sector association Eurelectric and as organiser of cross-sector advocacy to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System from 2011 to 2014. Jesse teaches at the Hertie School in Berlin and at Edinburgh University in Scotland. She is also an advisor to the World Economic Forum, the Climate Bonds Initiative, and the Florence School of Regulation.


Christian Flachsland is Professor of Sustainability at the Hertie School and Director of the School's Centre for Sustainability. He is also a Research Fellow at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), where he previously worked as a group leader. His research focuses on the design, governance and political economy of climate, energy and sustainability policy. He co-coordinates the research on governance in the Kopernikus-Ariadne project, a major research consortium assessing climate policy options for Germany and Europe, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). He was a contributing author to the 5th Assessment Report on the Mitigation of Climate Change by the IPCC.

This event is hosted in cooperation with the Centre for Sustainability