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WBGU is an independent, scientific advisory body to the German Federal Government set up in 1992 in the run-up to the Rio Earth Summit. The Council has nine members, appointed for a term of four years by the federal cabinet. The Council is supported by an interministerial committee of the federal government comprising representatives of all ministries and of the federal chancellery. The Council’s principal task is to provide scientifically-based policy advice on global change issues to the German Federal Government. The Council • analyses global environment and development problems and reports on these, • reviews and evaluates national and international research in the field of global change, • provides early warning of new issue areas, • identifies gaps in research and initiates new research, • monitors and assesses national and international policies for sustainable development, • elaborates recommendations for action, • raises public awareness and heightens the media profile of global change issues. WBGU publishes flagship reports every two years, making its own choice of focal themes. In addition, the German government can commission the Council to prepare special reports and policy papers. For more information please visit