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Transformations of the Ecology Movement: the Development of Environmental Policy Consultancy

Transformations of the Ecology Movement: the Development of Environmental Policy Consultancy

14 November 2014

From 14 to 15 November 2014 the conference, "Transformations of the Ecology Movement: from the 'Limits to Growth' to the Rio Conference," took place in the Archiv Grünes Gedächtnis (Green Memory Archive) of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin. Doris Knoblauch and Susanne Langsdorf (both of Ecologic Institute) presented two articles on the development of environmental policy consultancy in Germany, which were written for the project "From 'The Blue Sky above the Ruhr' to the 'Energiewende.'” Both articles analyze the development of the environmental movement and non-state funded environmental policy research in West and East Germany in the 1970s and 1980s in order to explain still existing differences in non-state environmental policy consultancy and research. The articles are available for download.

Articles presented on the German environmental movements in the 1970s and 1980s

During the conference, Susanne Langsdorf presented the Article Die Umweltbewegung in der DDR und die Umweltpolitikberatung in den neuen Bundesländern ("The environmental movement in the GDR and the environmental policy consultancy in the new federal states", only available in German), prepared together with Elena Hofmann. Until today, the landscape of scientific environmental research institutes differs between East and West Germany. In her presentation, Susanne Langsdorf explored the reasons for this as well as the effects of an authoritarian state on the development of a social (environmental) movement. It became clear that the use of environmental issues as a vehicle to criticise the policial system as well as activities that seemed apolitical such as collective tree planting but had the potential to politicize participants are characteristic for the GDR environmental movement.

Doris Knoblauch presented the article Die Anfänge der nicht-staatlichen Umweltpolitikforschung und -beratung ("The Beginnings of the non-state environmental policy reserach and consultancy", only available in German), that she wrote together with Linda Mederake. This discussion paper examines the founding of the first non-state institutes in the area of environmental politics in West Germany, the role of environmental policy consultancy and research in this area as well as the factors that influenced the foundation and development of non-state institutes. It became evident that non-state, scientific environmental policy consultancy only started to become important in the mid-1970s. 

The Oral History Project

The project From 'The Blue Sky above the Ruhr' to the 'Energiewende' investigated the beginnings and development of scientific environmental policy consultancy in Germany. For that purpose 20 eye witnesses were interviewed about the emergence and development of environmental policy research and consultancy. Recording of the Interviews and of public debates as well as written analyses can be found on the project website.