The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 9, Number 1, 2010

ISSN 1602-2297

What’s Holding up the Climate Movement? A Look at Germany

Heike Walk
Technical University of Berlin, ER 2-2 Hardenbergstr. 36A, 10623 Berlin

Abstract: The climate issue has become significantly more important over the last ten years in view of growing global warming. At the same time climate protection has remained a domain of fairly low political involvement on the part of the population. Similarly, people’s knowledge about the causes and effects of global climate change is rudimentary. Differing interests seem to make it difficult to create general acceptance and compliance for political decisions in the field of climate protection. This is all the more surprising since Germany looks back on several decades of a strong environmental movement. So why don’t more people get involved in climate protection activities? And who are the people who do get involved? Taking a look at ecological awareness and at what the environmental movement actually strives for provides what may be the key answer to this question.

Keywords: climate policy, environmental movement, public awareness, low emission lifestyle, climate debate, citizen activities, effective climate protection

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