The former Federal Environment Minister and CDU politician Klaus Töpfer has died. He died on Saturday after a short, serious illness, as a spokeswoman for the Federal CDU confirmed on Tuesday in Berlin. Töpfer was 85 years old. The “Neue Westfälische” and the “Westfalen-Blatt” had previously reported.

Töpfer was Environment Minister from 1987 to 1994 under the then CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl. He headed the UN Environmental Programme until 2006. The politician and scientist, born in Silesia, grew up in Höxter in East Westphalia, where he also lived most recently.

Töpfer’s bath in the Rhine in a neoprene suit in 1988 became famous. He wanted to demonstrate the success of water protection measures after a major fire at a chemical company. At that time, firefighting water contaminated with chemicals had entered the Rhine.

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