By Lyn Jaggard
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Extra resources for Climate Change Politics in Europe: Germany and the International Relations of the Environment (Library of International Relations)
The Federal Government sees the adoption of a national climate protection programme as a vital pre-requisite of sustainable development and the national sustainability strategy. (BMU, 2000:11) This statement acknowledges the importance of multi-stakeholder participation in order for climate change policies to be effective. The 34 CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICS IN EUROPE national sustainability strategy and its formation will be examined in the following chapter. Mentioned above is the German Industry declaration on climate change; following on from this, an ‘Agreement on Climate Protection between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and German Business’ was reached on 9 November 2000.
In Hesse following the 1985 state elections the Green Party and the SPD entered into a coalition and Joschka Fischer became the first Green state minister for environmental and energy affairs. (Mewes, 1998:41) These events are significant as they demonstrate that ‘green’ issues were a matter of popular concern; this in turn put pressure on other political parties to pay attention to environmental matters. An example of the 26 CLIMATE CHANGE POLITICS IN EUROPE results of this pressure is the adoption by the SPD during the 1980s of environmental policies that were in large part those already espoused by the Green Party.
Forests are important in German mythology and it appears that inherent in German culture is the idea of forests being permanent features of the environment. Beuermann & Burdick (1997) point out that nachhaltige Forstwirtschaft (sustainable forestry) was an aim as long ago as the turn of the nineteenth century. It is therefore, not surprising that one issue that engendered popular concern was the widespread discovery in the early 1980s of Waldsterben (dying forests), the cause was attributed to air pollution.