Bärbel Höhn

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Bärbel Höhn
Member of the Federal Diet of Germany
Assumed office
Minister for Agriculture of Northrhine-Westphalia
In office
July 17, 1995 – June 24, 2005
Preceded by Klaus Matthiesen
Succeeded by Eckhard Uhlenberg
Member of the North Rhine-Westphalia House of Deputies
In office
Personal details
Born (1952-05-04) May 4, 1952 (age 70)
Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein
Nationality German
Political party Alliance '90/The Greens
Alma mater University of Kiel
Profession Economist
Website www.baerbel-hoehn.de

Bärbel Höhn (born May 4, 1952) is a German politician for Alliance '90/The Greens. She has been a member of the Bundestag since the German federal election, 2005, after serving as Minister of Agriculture of Northrhine-Westphalia from 1995 to 2005.

Early life and education

Born in Flensburg, Höhn attended the University of Kiel, majoring in mathematics and economics, and earned her Diplom in 1976. From 1978 to 1990 she was a research assistant at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Political career

Höhn began her political career as an activist in a local initiative against air pollution and as a city councilor in her home town of Oberhausen.[1] In 1985, she joined Alliance '90/The Greens, and gained a seat in the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1990.

State Minister for Environment and Agriculture in North Rhine-Westphalia, 1995-2005

In the fifth cabinet of Johannes Rau, Höhn became Minister for Environment and Agriculture, serving in that position under Rau's successor Wolfgang Clement until 2005. In that capacity, she played a leadership role in Europe’s response to the mad cow disease epidemic in 2001,[2] improved consumer rights and promoted energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy.[3] Höhn has long criticized the industrial production methods of German farmers.[4]

Even before entering the German Bundestag, Höhn was a Green Party delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in May 2004.

Member of the German Bundestag, 2005-present

Höhn has been a member of the German Bundestag since the 2005 federal election. She first served as chairwoman of the Committee on Committee on Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection from 2005 to 2006. Between 2006 and 2013, she was vice-chair of the Green Party's parliamentary group – then led by co-chairs Renate Künast and Fritz Kuhn (2005-2009) or Jürgen Trittin (2009-2013), respectively – and headed its working group on environmental, energy, transport, agricultural and consumer policy.[5] Since 2005, she has also been the deputy chairwoman of the German-Brazilian Parliamentary Friendship Group. Between 2009 and 2013, she was part of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the Baltic States.

Following the 2013 federal elections, Höhn stated that agreeing to a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel would be a “kamikaze” act for the Green Party.[6] Exploratory coalition talks with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union ended soon after, without results.

Since 2014, Höhn has been chairwoman of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Having participated in various UN climate conferences, she is a regular speaker at international climate and energy conventions.[7]

Only a few days before a trip to the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, the Ecuadorian government banned a parliamentary delegation led by Höhn from entering the country. Höhn and her group had planned to visit the Yasuni National Park and meet with people opposed to drilling there.[8][9]

Other activities

  • German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), Member of the Board of Trustees
  • GLOBE Germany, Member of the Board
  • Development and Peace Foundation (SEF), Member of the Board of Trustees (2005-2009)
  • ver.di, Member

External links

Media related to Bärbel Höhn at Wikimedia Commons


  1. Reinhard Bütikofer and Bärbel Höhn Heinrich Böll Foundation, press release of January 29, 2014.
  2. German Farms Placed Under Quarantine After Foot-and-Mouth Antibodies Appear Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2001.
  3. Bärbel Höhn German Conference at Harvard, February 14-15, 2014.
  4. Cecilie Rohwedder (January 10, 2001), German Health, Agriculture Ministers Resign on Criticism of Mad-Cow Work Wall Street Journal.
  5. Bärbel Höhn German Conference at Harvard, February 14-15, 2014.
  6. Alan Crawford and Stefan Nicola (October 10, 2013), German Greens Poised to Rebuff Merkel’s Coalition Overtures Bloomberg.
  7. Bärbel Höhn German Conference at Harvard, February 14-15, 2014.
  8. Greta Hamann (December 7, 2014), MPs' Ecuador trip canceled over drilling row Deutsche Welle.
  9. Andreas Mihm (December 12, 2014), Einreiseverbot für Abgeordnete: Bestrafung Ecuadors gefordert Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.