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The sustainable transition in Germany : some early stage experiences

  • The issue or concept of "sustainable development" entered onto the public and political agenda only relatively recently, and, five years after signing Agenda 21, perceptions of it are still ambiguous. A review of organisational adjustments and of German communications to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development shows that the German government's level of commitment to Agenda 21 is still low. This view is supported by an assessment of developments, and the Government's poor performance so far, in three institutional indicators. However, there is evidence that some incremental steps towards a sustainability transition are being taken as in some areas of business and industry and local government attitudes are begining toThe issue or concept of "sustainable development" entered onto the public and political agenda only relatively recently, and, five years after signing Agenda 21, perceptions of it are still ambiguous. A review of organisational adjustments and of German communications to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development shows that the German government's level of commitment to Agenda 21 is still low. This view is supported by an assessment of developments, and the Government's poor performance so far, in three institutional indicators. However, there is evidence that some incremental steps towards a sustainability transition are being taken as in some areas of business and industry and local government attitudes are begining to change. In addition, awareness of sustainable development is being raised by the efforts of non‐governmental organisations and the scientific community. Generally though, the lack of institutional reorganisation is the major obstacle to a German sustainability transition. This is an expression of the generally low priority of environmental and global development issues in the aftermath of German unification and the related economic and social problems. The traditional economic paradigm where economic growth is believed to be the precondition for welfare prevails and is considered by a majority of decision‐makers not to be compatible with the sustainability transition.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Christiane BeuermannGND, Bernhard Burdick
Year of Publication:1997
Language:English
Source Title (English):Environmental politics
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09644019708414312
Volume:6
Issue:1
First Page:83
Last Page:107
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Politik
Abteilung:Abteilung Klimapolitik