German Reforestation

I was really struck by the idea of reforestation in Germany. Taking into account the small geographic size of the country and large relative population, it only makes sense that the natural resources such as forests were eventually depleted with heavy industrial use. While American’s have similarly historically relied heavily on lumber, the massive size of the country has given an opportunity to be ignorant to the loss of woods as there always seemed to be more out there.

[46+] Black Forest Germany Wallpaper on WallpaperSafari

The German Black Forest.

The first German to mention a notion of the term ‘sustainability’ was Hans Carl von Carlowitz of Leipzig, who was a mining administrator (Forstwirtschaft in Deutschland). With a rich history up to current day in mining, especially coal/lignite mining, which requires significant lumber to function, Germans like Carlowitz started to realize that the forests were not reappearing as fast as they were being cut down, not nearly. He proposed reforesting the barren forests to ensure future lumber yield in his 1713 publication Sylvicultura Oeconomica, a guide to cultivating native trees in Germany (Forstwirtschaft in Deutschland).

Front cover of Sylvicultura Oeconomica.

This concept of reforestation gained traction in Germany as the ramifications of limited lumber supply ran through all aspects of what we now know as the pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental, and social/cultural well-being and security (Purvis et al.). With such a strong early emphasis on fast and predictable tree regrowth, however, many forests were replanted with single-variety crops and would eventually suffer biodiversity costs, such as vulnerability to disease and poor lumber quality (Popkin). With an increased need for countries to be resilient towards the effects of climate change, as well as mitigate further escalations of change, there is pressure within Germany in the current day to redevelop forest management strategies that both bring back damaged forests and ensrue that its done in a way to ensure that diverse forests can be ecosystems and not simply mono-crops for future harvestation (Popkin).

Why Farm Bailouts May Cause the Next Dust Bowl

Dried out farm soil in the U.S..

While the U.S. has a very different landscape geography as comared to Germany, especially considering the large size of the country and diversity in region, this principle of looking out for the future in terms of resource conservation is certainly prominent in the U.S. With states facing widespread droughts due to both climate change and overharvestation of groundwater, fires wiping out entire forests, winter chills freezing pipe systems, and floods damaging crops and infrastructure, most communities face a challenge in terms of finding solutions to be more resilient, wether or not they admit that they are ‘climate change’ impacts. While the U.S. doesn’t have as big of a history of ‘scientific reforesting’ like Germany, there is a large practice of mono-crop farming in the food industry that has been devestating the environment and food system in terms of lack of biodiversity and resilience towards disease, the same concerns as the German forests (Popkin). The same principle of needing to plant diverse crops and not clear-cut crops remains true in both Germany and the U.S.. Practices like crop rotation and retilling fields with old plant matter still on them (not clear-cut) has shown significant environmental benefits and can certainly be more widespread in the U.S.. The difficulty lies in the massive food system monopoly and companies wanting fast, cheap, and consistent crops no matter the cost. Until companies are ready to wait a bit longer for their crops and rotate their seeds, sustainability efforts will go largely unheard.


Forstwirtschaft in Deutschland. “Historical Development – German Forestry – 300 Yrs of Sustainability Campaign.”, Accessed 10 May 2023.

Popkin, Gabriel. “Germany’s Trees Are Dying. A Fierce Debate Has Broken out over How to Respond.”, 2 Dec. 2021,

Purvis, Ben, et al. “Three Pillars of Sustainability: In Search of Conceptual Origins.” Sustainability Science, vol. 14, no. 3, 3 Sept. 2019, pp. 681–695. springer,,

Wallpaper Safari. Black Forest Germany Wallpaper, 2018, Accessed 5 May 2023.

Wikipedia Contributors. “Hans Carl von Carlowitz.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Oct. 2017, Accessed 24 Nov. 2019.

Germany and Waste Reduction

Several towns in Germany, such as Hörstein, a small town in North Bavaria, have a system for waste disposal in which the garbage produced by each household is weighed, and then the household is charged per kilogram of waste they produce. This incentivizes German citizens to cut their garbage production as much as possible.

This practice could be extended to the United States. Like all infrastructure projects, there would be a cost associated with starting the program, but it would quickly begin to pay off. America currently leads the nations in terms of plastic waste produced per year, and it is reported that the main reason most Americans recycle as little as they do is a lack of convenient and available means to recycle.  Some people are all-inclusive in what they throw into the recycling bins, but that only makes it harder to sort the trash out from the recycling, and sometimes the contents of the entire bin are resigned to the landfill rather than going through the labor of separating them. 

Therefore, in the United States, this development would have to be accompanied by a push for more effective recycling and waste partitioning, following Germany’s model.  A major hinderance of this in the United States would be the fact that this country does not have the same emphasis on recycling and partitioning of different types of waste.  However, implementing this system would give people and companies an incentive to partition waste to be less wasteful.  The hardest obstacle to overcome would be at the governmental level, since the reason there is less recycling in America is because America does not have the infrastructure to recycle most products and has a single-stream recycling system that requires less thought from consumers but creates more labor at the recycling plant.  This could be combatted by including a fee for loads of contaminated recycling, though that would be more difficult to establish.

In the US, this would still face more backlash than it does in Germany, because of the American psyche generally being against government oversight, while most Germans tend to be more educated and therefore more contentious about environmental oversight and regulation.  However, this is where America’s subdivided local government could allow progress to happen faster. In settings that are already more environmentally conscious, the local legislature would be able to establish systems like these with less difficulty than it would take to spread the system across the entire country. As long as the financial benefit for complying with new waste disposal standards is enough to have an impact, the system of charging per pound of trash thrown away will make people choose to reduce waste on their own.


How Waste Management in Germany is Changing the Game

Renewable Offshore Energy from Wind in Germany

Popularly known as the “Energiewende” in Germany, is the energy transition from the concentrated use of fossil fuels to a shift of renewable energy. This coined termed is based on the context of lowering the worlds greenhouse gas emissions in hopes to not exceed the 1.5-degree goal. Within the top 90 oil and gas firms, 63% of the global carbon and methane emissions are sourced within them (Ekwurzel, 2017). As a result, Germany is trying to diversify its energy sources in hopes to produce less greenhouse gas emissions by investing more funds into renewable energy.  Wind energy is a key component of Germany’s renewable energy mix.

As of early 2023, Germany’s share of renewable energy throughout all the energy sources is 44.2% (Wehrmann, 2023). Of the renewable energy sector, nearly half of the renewable energy is sourced from wind power at 21.6% (Wehrmann, 2023). By increasing levels of renewable energy, they are trying to shift away from fossil fuel. While in the United States, they are still very far behind in their energy transition and only have about 17.5% of their energy sourced from renewable energy (Gearino, 2020).

One way Germany has really set the precedents is their offshore windfarm projects. They realized that they were running out of land space to put their windfarms and in order to reach their renewable energy goals their best option would be to increase off-shore wind farms. Because of Germany’s shoreline to the Baltic and North Sea, they were able to install 29 operating offshore wind farms and 1 is in construction out of 188 offshore wind projects that have been approved (Offshore Wind farms in Germany, 2023). It has also been a great way to boost the economy as it has around 21,400 people working in the industry and has generated an annual turnover of 7.4 billion euros in the industry (Wehrmann, 2023). It has also brought numerous investors into the renewable energy industry markets.

Moreover, the United States currently has only 2 offshore windfarms (Offshore Wind Energy, n.d.). The United States has 8 times more coastline than Germany giving them ample opportunity to invest more into their offshore windfarms (Geography Stats: compare key data on Germany & United States, n.d.). Increasing offshore wind capacity is a viable option for the United States however, there has been a lot of pushbacks from communities as it may not be aesthetically appealing. In addition, U.S. policies are delaying the development of offshore wind farms by enforcing the Jones Act of 1920 permits all parts of a windmill to be constructed, registered, and managed by crews within the United States (Marshall, 2023). It is predicted that by 2050 there could be windfarms in every coastal region within the United States (Offshore Wind Energy, n.d.).

Germany started their first windfarm in 2014 and has since expanded their operation to help combat climate change and increase their economy. The United States is capable of creating more windfarms, but they lack the large political backing for environmental issues that Germany has.


Ekwurzel, B. e. (2017). The rise in global atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, and sea level from emissions traced to major carbon producers. Climatic Change, 579–590.

Gearino, D. (2020, April 30). How Dying Forests and a Swedish Teenager Helped Revive Germany’s Clean Energy Revolution. Retrieved from Inside Climate News:

Geography Stats: compare key data on Germany & United States. (n.d.). Retrieved from Nation Master:

Marshall, M. (2023, February 14). What’s holding the United States back from being a global leader in offshore wind? Retrieved from Yale Environment Review:

Offshore Wind Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved from WIND Exchange :

Offshore Wind farms in Germany. (2023, April 30). Retrieved from 4 C Offshore:,or%20have%20applied%20for%20consent.

Wehrmann, B. (2023, February 13). German onshore wind power – output, business and perspectives. Retrieved from Journalism for the energy transition :


The German Energy Efficiency Mindset

The stereotype of Germans as highly efficient and energy saving individuals stems from a history of industrial effectiveness and related cultural values. With roots tracing back to medieval craftsmen, such as watchmakers in Mainz and armorers Solingen, western Rhineland established Germany’s connection to efficiency with its production of high-quality specialized goods (Burack, 2021.) Later in the 18th century, the east German state of Prussia exemplified German bureaucratic efficiency with its adoption of militaristic and administrative power (Burack, 2021.) As the Prussian state expanded control to unify the German Empire, bureaucracy and military ideals spread as Prussian leadership stressed values such as punctuality, diligence, frugality, and a sense of duty while implementing tax-based public schools (Burack, 2021.) During the 19th century, the Prussian state deliberately categorized these ideals into the “preußische Tugenden” or ‘Prussian Virtues’ in part to establish a national connection to civic duty, but also to create a citizenry that supported the desired “efficient state” (Burack, 2021.) These Prussian virtues, although containing aspects of propaganda, effectively created national pride in industrial efficiency and created a noticeable German work ethic. The stereotypes of German efficiency became prevalent at this time, as tourists in Rhineland often commented on the punctuality, wealth and expediency seen in train times, hotel maintenance and functionality of water systems (Burack, 2021.) The deliberate utilization of an efficiency stereotype bolstered connections to a German identity, while furthering economic and technological advancements. 

Today, the utilization of German cultural associations and the stereotype of German efficiency leads to impressive industrial developments in the environmental sector, along with increased adoption of environmental policies and household energy saving practices (Long et al, 2018, pg. 777.) Yet historically, utilizing German nationalism created extremely negative results, especially in terms of efficiency. Among other things, the Nazi party manipulated the Prussian values until civic duty and frugality became systemic murder and cheap labor (Burack, 2021.) Even so, during the mid 20th century Germany managed to pull off a “Wirtschaftswunder,” or “economic miracle,” especially in West Germany (Burack, 2021.) Today, the Prussian Virtues that initially shaped German identity and efficiency evolved into elevated levels of technological innovations and the household acceptance of household energy saving practices.  

But what if, Germans aren’t actually more frugal, energy saving and supernaturally work ethic endowed. What if, this stereotype actually stems from the fact that Germany has a history of creating policies and tax incentives that create a system where its citizens do not have to fight and worry about education, income, medical care, and some other generic human rights so that the people actually have time to pay attention to the planet and energy transitions and more than just making sure there basic needs are met. But anyway, let’s talk about stereotypes. 

According to Long et al, German households show a higher tendency to take energy saving action than Americans by a difference of 4.2 percentage points (2018, pg. 792.) Using statistical analysis of a survey dataset encompassing 1005 respondents in Germany and 1010 respondents in the USA aged 18 years or older (2018, pg. 783,) Long et al indicates educational awareness of energy conservation benefits demonstrated significance regarding the employment of household efficiency and energy technologies (2018, pg. 792.) The writers suggest that, like Germany, America needs to send more people to expensive schools, learn how to stop buying cheap mass produced foods just to survive, stop taking long warm showers to experience a fleeting moment of joy, and take time away from working non-stop to afford education, cheap mass produced foods, water and heating bills in order to dedicate more time employing energy saving technologies and focus on increasing household efficiency, like the Germans. Really, affordable healthcare and government funded infrastructure has nothing to do with Germany’s energy efficiency culture. 

Burack, Cristina. “German Efficiency: The Roots of a Stereotype .” Dw.Com, 28 Mar. 2021, 

Long, C., Mills, B. F., & Schleich, J. (2018). Characteristics or culture? Determinants of household energy use behavior in Germany and the USA. Energy Efficiency, 11(3), 777–798. 



Schrebergärtens are crucial to the preservation of green spaces within and around urban regions. Schrebergärtens were traditionally used as small farming lands and temporary housing for the poor during the Industrialization era (Lorbek and Martinsen 2015, S103). These land plots eventually became green spaces that were marketed specifically towards children by doctor Schreber from Leipzig, Germany in the early 1800’s, of which he believed would benefit children’s personal growth (Grenier 2018). Schrebergärtens were named after doctor Schreber in respect of his visions for allotment gardens (Grenier 2018). During the time periods both during and after World War 1 and 2 and Germany’s financial downfall, Schrebergärtens became temporary housing and farming options (Lorbeck and Martinsen 2015, S104).

Today, Schrebergärtens are regulated by the Bundeskleingartengesetz (Grenier 2018). This organization oversees the individuals responsible for their respective Schrebergärten and the maintenance of the property. An example of the garden maintenance includes that at least one third of the garden must be dedicated to the cultivation of fruits and vegetables and sheds on the garden plots may not be used as a residential space (Grenier 2018). Though these rules may seem strict, there are to protect the purpose of Schrebergärtens, which is to provide urban populations with protected green spaces. There are over 1 million Schrebergärtens in Germany and over five million different caretakers for these properties, which can be attributed to the histroical and modern successes of the Schrebergärtens in Germany (Lorbek and Martinsen 2015, S104).

I am not confident in the idea that Schrebergärtens could be used within the United States with the same success as they have in a German context. I think it would be very difficult for property owners to give up their land outside of cities to the government to be used as protected land when that land would more than likely have high property value. This land could become highly valued investment properties for potential suburbs and industries. Another strong argument against Schrebergärtens would be the existence of national parks and other already federally protected land spaces around the United States. The push of tourism towards national parks may be a cheaper and more time-friendly option over Schrebergärtens.

I think there is a possibility, however, that Schrebergärtens could be successful in less populated areas with limited industrialization. This not only would help sustain rural economies by promoting tourism but would also encourage spending time in natural green spaces, making them a more vital resource to the United States. Although I do not see Schrebergärtens becoming a success in America, I do believe the idea and intentions of urbanized green spaces may work well in less populated communities with naturally green environments and may increase the appreciation of untouched ecosystems hidden within the United States.


Grenier, Elizabeth. 2018. “A brief guide to German colonies.” Deutsche Welle, May 30, 2018.

Lorbek, Maja and Martinsen, Milena. 2015. “Allotment Garden Dwellings: Exploring Tradition and Legal Framework.” Urbani Izziv 26 (2015): S98–113.

Urban Green Spaces

As populations grow cities are becoming more popular, it is essential cities maintain urban green spaces for managing quality of life. Urban green spaces are an important part of city life in Germany. They provide a wide range of positive elements including social, public health, economic, and environmental. Green spaces are a key aspect for proper living conditions, they provide healthy environments by improving air quality and reducing heat. I experienced and witnessed some of the most wonderful green spaces I had ever seen while traveling throughout Germany. One of my favorite cities we visited was Berlin. I had an amazing time touring the city and was continuously amazed by the many urban green spaces. 

German governments understand that urban development policies are crucial. In 2015, federal ministries prepared the green paper “Green Spaces in the City”, the overall purpose notes the future importance and process for the integration of urban green spaces in German cities. In the green paper, it provides a basic summary of specific measures and recommendations and actions by the federal government to ensure high-quality green spaces. Additionally, the German federal government has supported urban green spaces by enacting a federal act on allotment gardens. Allotment gardens are very popular and historic in German culture, over a million allotment garden plots are present in Germany. The federal act was introduced in 1983 in order to promote and preserve these spaces for urban gardening. 

Aerial view of Schreber gardens. Photo taken by Enver Hirsch. (

I grew up in Los Angeles, California. In my neighborhood we have an urban green space that is used as a “park”. The green spaces in my neighborhood are not safe nor clean due to graffiti, littering, and lack of municipal support. When I visited Germany I deeply appreciated the well kept and accessible parks, gardens, trails, etc. 

In order to popularize urban spaces in the United States (US), the social culture and governmental frameworks surrounding environmental issues in the US surrounding green spaces must change. The lack of appreciation and policies surrounding green urban spaces are slowing the progressions towards implementing green urban spaces in the United States. This idea and practice has been possible in certain cities but grows more difficult with cities with greater populations, as spaces are cleared for housing projects. In order to ensure green urban spaces longevity requires local governments allocating both policy and money towards implementation.



Waste Separation Comparison in Berlin and New York City

7 Reasons Recycling Isn't Working in New York City - The New York Times

Berlin is a city that takes trash separation seriously and has put in place a system that is necessary for all houses. Berliner residents are required to categorize their garbage according to the city’s waste separation system. In addition to plastic, metal, glass, and biological trash, this also contains paper and cardboard. Residents are encouraged to correctly sort their rubbish before discarding it, with separate containers being given for each type. Facilities for composting and recycling are spread out around the city, which has a well-developed waste management system. For each type of garbage, the city offers regular waste collection services, and residents have access to recycling containers and composting locations. But there are still some cases where people did not sort their waste properly, but they will end up getting economic fine from the government. 

New York City has made steps to adopt trash separation, enhance recycling, and promote composting. The city has established objectives to decrease garbage delivered to landfills and enhance waste disposal procedures.The city’s trash separation program mandates residential waste separation for specific waste kinds, including hazardous and electronic waste, and offers regular garbage collection services for these items. Other waste kinds, such paper, plastic, and glass, must be separated on a voluntary basis, and not all people have access to recycling or composting facilities. In order to enhance recycling and composting, New York City has launched a number of efforts, including extending curbside recycling programs, giving homes composting containers, and establishing public education campaigns to encourage trash reduction and safe garbage disposal. Despite these initiatives, the city’s waste management system still has issues, including unlawful dumping, overflowing trash cans, and a lack of infrastructure for recycling and composting. Furthermore, the city’s reliance on landfills for waste disposal has a detrimental effect on the environment and the health of neighboring populations. There were not any national laws for cases where people did not do their waste separation, so it ended up that New York City had a lower percentage in recycling rate than Berlin.

In Berlin, there are different types of bins that are located throughout the city. In Berlin, they have the gray household waste bin, the food bin, the orange or yellow recycling bin, the blue waste paper bin, bottle banks and bins, and bulky waste bin. In New York, there are five types of bins in New York City, which are waste, metal, glass, plastic, and cartons. But compared with Berlin, New York City didn’t have many options and New York City encouraged everyone to start recycling but there was no national law that was able to apply to New York City residents in order for them to get into the work of waste separation. About the recycling rate between Berlin and New York City, Berlin had 54% of recycling rate and New York City had 17% of recycling rate. Even New York City has a recycling rule for all residents to sort their waste, but there are still many people who did not obey and they did it illegally. To fix the problem, New York City should learned from Berlin that if people didn’t sort the waste properly, there will be economic fine that the resident have to pay for it, New York City should be increase the access to recycling and composting facilities, even they have metal, glass, plastic, and cartons bin, they should have more option like food bin, bulky bin in order to protect the environment. Because according to the New York Times, a bulky bin is not required. And there is a lack of options for food bins. So New York City should learn from Berlin and if the problem is improved, the percentage of recycling rate will be increasing.


Barnard, Anne. “7 Reasons Recycling Isn’t Working in New York City.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 29 Jan. 2020,

“Recycling Laws for Residents.” DSNY – the City of New York Department of Sanitation,,certain%20areas%20throughout%20the%20City. Accessed 1 May 2023.

Case Integration Summary Berlin, Accessed 1 May 2023.

“Recycling Facts.” GrowNYC, 10 Dec. 2019,,up%205.7%25%20of%20our%20waste.

Bravo, Eduardo. “The German Recycling System: The World’s Best Recycling Country.” Tomorrow.City – The Biggest Platform about Urban Innovation, 2 Sept. 2021,,waste%20into%20the%20wrong%20bin.

“Recycling in the United States.” Wikipedia, 1 Feb. 2023,,introduce%20their%20own%20recycling%20requirements.

Mehr Fortschritt Wagen : Katie Vassilakos

this newly elected governmental coalition was put in place to turn the corner and aim for more sustainable transportation options throughout Germany. This agreement which loosley translates into ‘dare to innovate’ or ‘dare to make progress’, focuses on transitioning public transportation into more sustainable option. The coalition is made up from SPD (German labor party), the Green party and the FDP (a centralists Political Party). They have set goals regarding public transportation like getting at least 15 million electric cars, changing infrastructure for electric mobility and creating simplified grid connections and more easily traveled locations. Alongside many other revolutionary changes Germany is aiming to make strong transportation focused changes to turn towards a more sustainable future. This idea can be transferred to the US, with more subsides for environmentally friendly cars, and a heavier push towards utilizing public transportation it could easily be put into action in the States with governmental support.

Lake Königssee: a Sustainable Paradise

Located just 24km from the border of Austria, Lake Königssee sits next to Berchtesgaden. Berchtesgaden is a tiny, beautiful alpine village located in the Bavaria region of Germany, and is only a 45 minute car ride to Salzburg. The mountainous paradise surrounding Lake Königssee is called Berchtesgaden National Park; a protected UNESCO biosphere reserve. Once the hunting grounds of Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria, the national park was a sanctuary of quietness and tranquillity. This rule still remains in place generations later. The lake is considered the cleanest lake in Germany – the water is even drinkable – due to the measures taken by Germany’s government and the people of Berchtesgaden. Electric barges are used for transportation across the lake, taking tourists to and from the national park. Coupled with this, motorboats are not allowed in the area thanks to the decree of Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria: no noise on Lake Königssee.

This natural landscape has great significance, as it serves as educational example of combining, tourism, tradition, and the conservation and preservation of natural lands. The lake, national park, and town of Berchtesgaden have shown that community collaboration can create a healthy environment that connects tourists and inhabitants alike with the culture and sustainable ideas of the Bavarian region.

There are only 738 biosphere reserves across 134 countries; they all serve to promote solutions to sustainable using natural lands with a focus on the conservation of biodiversity. It is extremely important to protect biodiversity because we can reverse the issues that come along with a loss of biodiversity. As well it would lead to a great decrease in the ecosystem services that are provided to humans such as carbon sequestration, food, and clean water. Berchtesgaden National Park, when compared to other UNESCO biosphere reserves, serves as an educational center for understanding sustainable development across a variety of ecological, social, and economic contexts affecting the lives of everyone living in our home, Earth.

I find that the cultural significance coupled with Germany’s passion for preservation allowed this paradise to be created. Though the United States are not known for a traditional, collective philosophy of protecting our planet and resources, I believe that creating a similar educational example in the United States is possible. A community culture combined with a passion for sustainable development could sprout a natural area formed by community involvement and education. I think that the most suitable type of site would be a smaller national park, more accustomed to soft-tourism. I am confident that the United States can also have exemplary sites that promote sustainable development across a variety of contexts.

The German Green Party

One of the major reasons that Germany has been able to enact as much sustainable change nationwide as it has is the work of the Green Party in the German Parliament. Officially established in West Germany in the 1980s and in East Germany in 1990 and finally merged in 1993, it gained enough support by 1998 to form a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party, holding federal power until 2005. With the election of 2021, the Green Party of Germany is once again part of the coalition government currently leading Germany.

Its political power has allowed some of its agenda to come to fruition, most notably, the closing of all nuclear power plants in Germany. While nuclear energy is a big part of sustainable energy in many countries, as it does not produce fossil fuels, the issue of nuclear waste is a concerning problem in a country as relatively small and densely populated as Germany. The Green Party first gained popularity from its stance on nuclear energy following the fallout from the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine, and its continued campaign to ensure nuclear energy would not be a part of Germany’s energy transition was successful with Germany’s last nuclear power plant closing in April of 2023.

As a voting block, the Green Party has caused some of Germany’s sustainable policy choices, but perhaps even more significant has been their effect on the climate conversation as a whole. As they gained support relatively quickly, it became clear that the German public was concerned with the environmental issues they championed. In order to keep their voting base happy, other parties began to shift their agendas to allocate more resources towards sustainable policy, making the “Energiewende” (energy transition) a central topic in German government almost regardless of which party came to power.

The idea of a Green Party is not unique to Germany, and the United States does have its own version, but the structure of the U.S. government has not allowed it the same impact. Additionally, environmental policy has unfortunately become an extremely polarizing partisan issue in the United States. Although environmental concerns are prevalent, there is currently not much of a path for citizens to impose their will on the government, as there are really only two viable parties, so even if neither will advocate for the degree of change desired, neither will suffer any consequences. Without significant change to government procedure in the United States, a similar effect could not be achieved. The structure of the German government is situated to give citizens’ votes much more impact, allowing the Green Party to gain some power and its ideas to spread across the government, overall helping to create the German that is known as a leader in sustainable energy today.


Conradt, D. P. (2023, April 23). Green Party of Germany. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Goossen, B. (2019, February 22). What the US can learn from Germany’s stunning environmental movement. Waging Nonviolence.

Uekotter, F. (2021, April 23). How the Greens went mainstream. Foreign Policy.