Appointment of the Secretary General and establishment of the Secretariat

Berlin, 01.09.2021 – With Jakob Peter as its new Secretary General, the Council of Experts on Climate Change gains a committed personality to accompany German climate policy with interdisciplinary scientific expertise.

Jakob Peter will take up his position as Secretary General of the Council of Experts on Climate Change and Head of the Secretariat on 1 September 2021. With a doctorate in economics and a background in engineering, he joins the Council of Experts on Climate Change from the energy companies Enertrag and Caphenia.

Mr Peter played a key role in developing the new business fields of “hydrogen” and “synthetic fuels” at Enertrag and Caphenia. Previously, he worked as a scientific advisor, including as a reviewer of the dena lead study and as an advisor to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“Mr Peter brings excellent knowledge and experience both in the field of cross-sectoral decarbonisation and in scientific policy advice, says Expert Council Chair Hans-Martin Henning. “We are delighted that he will join us as Secretary General and head the office.”

New task for the Council of Experts

The Council of Experts has just presented its report on the review of the immediate action programme for the building sector. In addition to the review of emissions data due every year in April, next year, following the amendment of the Climate Change Act, the expert report on previous developments in greenhouse gas emissions and on trends in terms of annual emissions volumes as well as the effectiveness of measures with a view to achieving targets is due for the first time.

“For this important task, the Council of Experts on Climate Change Issues has gained a strong personality in the new Secretary General and Head of the Secretariat to accompany German climate policy with interdisciplinary scientific expertise,” emphasises Vice Chair Brigitte Knopf. “One goal will be to build up the Secretariat and support the Council’s work with a dynamic scientific staff.”

Short vita Dr. Jakob Peter

Dr. Jakob Peter studied mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Among other things, he worked at Voith Hydro R&D Ocean

Energies (Heidenheim and Inverness, Scotland), myclimate Carbon Offsetting (Zurich) and Climeworks (Zurich). He then worked as a Fellow of the Mercator Kolleg for international assignments as a consultant for Sustainable Investment Partners (Zurich), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (Berlin) and the International Energy Agency IEA (Paris). From 2014 to 2019, he worked as a consultant at ewi Energy Research & Scenarios (Cologne) and completed a part-time PhD in Economics at the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne. Most recently, he worked as Senior Manager Energy Systems & Sector Coupling at Enertrag AG in addition to his engagement in the Strategy & Analysis department at the startup Caphenia.

The press release is available as PDF (German Version only: PDF, 73 kB)


The Expert Panel on Climate Change (ERK) is an independent panel of five experts from various disciplines. It was appointed in September 2020 and is mandated by Section 11 and Section 12 of the Federal Climate Change Act (KSG). The panel consists of the five members Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning (Chair), Dr. Brigitte Knopf (Deputy Chair), Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver Bettzüge, Prof. Dr. Thomas Heimer and Dr. Barbara Schlomann. In addition to other statutory tasks, the Expert Panel on Climate Issues examines the assumptions on which the measures are based when immediate action programmes are submitted, in accordance with Section 12 (2) KSG.

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Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

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