The population of Germany refers to the "golden billion" of developed countries, and the average German consumes much more than people in developing countries: energy in 20 times more Indian, steel in 100 times more than Filipino, aluminum by 15 times more than resident of Argentina. And all this in a very limited area. On this relatively small area focused exclusively concentrated powerful potential of the most polluting industries: coal mining, steel, great chemistry. In West Germany 19 operating nuclear power plants, it permeates the most dense network of roads. In the cities motor exhaust fumes give more ½ of all contamination.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the FRG was one of the most polluted countries in the 60 - 70s years. Rhine called "the gutter of the Europe", and acid rain made sick about 40% of the country's forests. In the GDR, the situation was even more difficult - more than 70% of the energy produced there from brown coal - the dirtiest fuel. In 1994 scientists conducted a thorough study of 105 cities in the country on the most important environmental indicators (air, water, noise, health risks). The last place on the sum of indicators occupied major cities: Stuttgart - 78th, Berlin - 79th, Mannheim - 80th, Cologne - 84th, Dusseldorf-97th. The most polluted cities in a great spot on the map can be seen in the Rhine-Ruhr area.
But by the 90-th years many things have changed for the better. Under the pressure of "green" have been taken in Germany very serious measures for ecological rehabilitation of the country.
- Reduction of environmental pollution;
- Rational use of drinking water;
- Processing of industrial wastes;
- Recycling of household waste;
- The safety of biotechnology transgenic food;
- The use of alternative energy sources;
- Development of resource saving technologies, etc.
For environmental protection spent huge amounts of money. In 1986, immediately after the Chernobyl disaster was created Ministry of the Environment. The biggest monopoly industries («Bayer» et al.) organize mass production of pollution-control equipment, and this area has become the most dynamic in the entire industry of Germany. Costs have borne fruit: Clean Rhine - it is possible to fish, smog ceased to hang over coal and metallurgical Ruhr area, became cleaner air in other cities. According to some important indicators, Germany has become a leader - so, on secondary use of raw materials it achieved record results. In 2000, the German government under pressure from the party "green" has decided to phase out the use of atomic energy. As a result, two (the oldest and low-power) of the existing 17 nuclear reactors have stopped their work, and up to 2020 is planned to stop everyone else. However, due to growing environmental problems on the planet that threaten climate catastrophe including in Germany, again intensified debate on the future of nuclear energy. Today, however, interest in nuclear energy has grown again, and on this there are two reasons. Firstly, in the future it is necessary to provide power at reasonable prices. Existing forecasts growth of energy consumption in the next 25 years at 60% will require the use of all available organic resources. Second, in recent years the acute problem of global warms. Taken participating countries of the Kyoto Protocol commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without the use of nuclear energy do not perform.
Environmental protection in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany. Since the beginning of the seventies in Germany was published a large number of laws and regulations relating to environmental protection. One of the first measures taken by the Government, became law on waste management from 1972, then in 1974, the Federal Law on the Protection of the environment from the effects of environmentally harmful emissions, followed by the Federal Nature Conservation Act, adopted in 1976; Finally in 1990 it was established control of the environmental effects of economic activity of enterprises. In 1994, protection of the environment was enshrined in the constitution as one of the main goals of the state (Art. 20a): "The State shall protect, aware of its responsibility towards future generations, the natural foundations of life and animals within the constitutional system through legislation and through the exercise of the executive and the judiciary authorities in accordance with the law and the law." However, in practice stringent standards, adopted for maintaining a healthy and clean environment, encounter certain limits that are the result of the confrontation (well-organized) economic interests. In addition, the effectiveness of environmental policy is complicated by the fact that, as the most important task that concerns all policy areas at the same time, it can be successfully carried out only if it is accepted by political and social actors as the main goal and really would have priority relative to other interests.
Global scales of environmental issue
In German society, as well as among the German political parties, about the protection of the environment consensus had been reached. Since all the political parties, which have weight at the federal level, proclaim in their environmental programs, although for the decisive moments, such as the use of nuclear energy between the parties occur with difficulty soluble differences. At international level, Germany is one of the leading countries - and this applies not only to the development of environmentally friendly technologies. In everyday life, from the Germans also have much to learn, for example, sorting of garbage. However, Germany is still standing with the problem of protecting species and uncontrolled growth of human settlements. And yet one of the major difficulties is burdening the atmosphere so-called greenhouse gases that cause climate change is considered. That climate change makes evident the planet global scale environmental issue: how can we survive and that we need to do for this? And this question, as opposed to those that plagued the previous generation is not so much the individual nation-states, as all States at the same time and to the entire world community.