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Ruud Lubbers

Prime Minister of The Netherlands (1982 – 1994)


Environment & Energy





Dr. Lubbers was Prime Minister of The Netherlands between 1982 and 1994, and former High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr Lubbers started his business career by joining his brother in the family-owned company Hollandia, when his father passed away unexpectedly in 1963. He stayed there until he became Minister of Economic Affairs, inclusive Energy, in 1973. He was faced with the first oil crisis. In 1975 he produced a white paper on Energy, in which he broadened Dutch Energy Research from nuclear (enrichment technology) to Energy Conservation and Renewables. From 1978 until 1982 Ruud Lubbers was Member of Parliament. There he was instrumental in merging Protestants and Catholics into the Christen Democratic Alliance (1980).

Ruud Lubbers started his public career at the end of the sixties, becoming a member of 'Rijnmond', a public institution to balance economic growth with environmental concerns. In 1971 "Limits to Growth" of the Club of Rome urged him to see the global dimensions. Gro Harlem Brundtland chaired 'Our Common Future'; Ruud Lubbers realised the first inclusive plan on Environment and Nature in the Netherlands (1988). In 1989 the joint efforts and friendship with Gro Harlem Brundtland led to the Declaration of The Hague, an agenda setting document for the Earth Summit.

In 1994 he took leave from politics and became professor on Globalisation, combining this with many part-time jobs, including International President of WWF. From 2001 until 2005 he was High Commissioner for Refugees. During those years he continued to be member of the Earth Charter Commission.

At present time he devotes a lot of time on chairing the Energy Research Centre in the Netherlands, which is about energy saving, renewable energy, clean fossils, climate change, Atoms for Peace (nuclear technology) and the Rotterdam Climate Initiative.Diversity, respect, awe for nature and the need to celebrate life, mark him as an Earth Charter man.


  • World Affairs
  • Globalisation
  • Climate Change