Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt is back in Hamburg and back with his interest in the protection of nature and the environment. The former Senator of the Environment (Hamburg 1991 to 1997) is still the CEO of RWE Innogy, a subsidiary of energy group RWE. But as of 1 August he will be involved again in nature and wildlife conservation – as the sole director of the German Wildlife Foundation.
Most recently, the 62-year-old honorary professor in the chemistry department of the University of Hamburg made headlines with his book “The cold sun. Why the climate catastrophe will not happen.” Now he wants to put his finger in another wound: “A number of major environmental organisations like WWF and Greenpeace concern themselves with everything from energy policy to social policy, but the conservation of nature is not longer adequately represented,” he said. He identified one victim of the green energy transition: “Nature – due to the destruction of the landscape by biofuel production or the cutting down of forests for wind and solar parks. The intensification of energy production should not be allowed to happen at the expense of our native wild plants and wild animals.”
Vahrenholt will succeed Haymo G. Rethwisch who is retiring after 20 years at the helm of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The former Hamburg entrepreneur set up the German Wildlife Foundation in 1992. For his achievements in wildlife conservation he received the Federal Order of Merit and for his philanthropic commitment the German Prize for Philanthropy.
“With Prof. Vahrenholt the German Wildlife Foundation has enlisted a man with environmental and economic competence, with integrity and political standing and the ability to think against the current,” said Rethwisch. Vahrenholt has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2010.
The central concern of the German Wildlife Foundation is to give the theme of nature and species protection a similar social standing as sports and culture have had for a long time.