chapter  5
Pages 23

In 1970 the Federal Social-Liberal Government intro­ duced a broad catalogue of aims in their 'Programme for the immediate protection of the environment'. Yet, as Ronge has shown, this was narrowed down considerably when it came to the implementation of specific policies.(1) Ronge shows how, in the Feder­ al Republic, the law on the amount of lead in petrol was passed without great resistance from economic interests; however, the law on the emission of waste water met with strong opposition from the chemical industry. He suggests that this was due to the domi­ nance of economic imperatives over political consid­ erations . (2)

This partly explains why the protest against the deterioration of the environment found much sympathy among supporters of the SPD. In SchleswigHolstein the SPD came out in support of the protest around Brokdorf; in Lower Saxony it called for a 'moratorium' on the further construction of all nuclear power stations(3); similarly, in Hamburg the party revised its original opinion that a nuclear power station at Brokdorf was essential for the supply of electricity.(4). The ecology movement had brought to the surface the tension between the SPD in government and the party at a local level where members sought to achieve greater levels of partici­ pation. The latter were anxious to take up some of the issues raised by the Green Movement.