By Lyn Jaggard
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Additional resources for Climate Change Politics in Europe: Germany and the International Relations of the Environment
Cavender and Jäger (1993) explain that environmental nongovernmental organisations were relatively (to those in other countries) late in campaigning at a national level and with regard to climate change issues. They attribute this mainly to the opposition of these organisations to nuclear energy policies within Germany. The nuclear energy industry had played on the climate change issue to promote their industry and the CDU used this argument in the 1980s to justify the planned expansion of nuclear energy.
Von Weizsäcker states All of a sudden, the public was up in arms again. The forests, the home of German myths and fairy tales were dying. (Von Weizsäcker, 1994:20) Beuermann & Burdick argue that due to this entrenched association with forests, during the 1980s and 1990s tropical deforestation and climate change1 were predominant in German thinking in relation to the concept of sustainability. Weale states that ‘the sudden upsurge in public concern over issues of forest death and damage’ (Weale, 1992:1) in 1982, caused the German government to change from a ‘cautious stance on the environment’ (Ibid) to a more proactive one.
BMU, 2000:7) The BMU proposed a new climate change protection programme; this was adopted on 18 October 2000. The summary of the programme published by the BMU states that The Federal Government’s targets are extremely ambitious: •To reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 25% by 2005 compared with 1990 levels. •To reduce emissions of the six greenhouse gases cited in the Kyoto Protocol by 21% between 2008 and 2012, within the context of EU burden-sharing. 6 Furthermore, for the first time the Federal Government has also set up specific targets relating to technology and energy resources: •A doubling in the proportion of renewable energy sources by 2010 compared with current levels, and a further substantial increase in the proportion of renewable energy sources after 2010.