Cover: Protest gegen die PCB-Deponie in Warren County, Afton, am 15. September 1982.

The Elephant in the Room - Environmental Racism in Germany

Studies, knowledge gaps, and their relevance to environmental and climate justice
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The term "environmental racism" emerged in the 1980s in the USA and articulates the racist effects of unequal distribution of environmental goods and risks. Environmental racism was also first addressed in Germany at this time. In light of the climate crisis, a new generation of people experiencing racism is asking whether and how climate change impacts reinforce the efficacy of environmental racism. Yet environmental racism is almost entirely unexplored in Germany. This brief study asks what this means for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Germany.

Product details
Date of Publication
December 2021
Heinrich Böll Foundation
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents
  • The Elephant in the Room –Environmental Racism in Germany
  • Warren County – the start of the environmental justice movement
  • From NIMBY to NIABY
  • US studies reveal clear evidence of environmental racism and health implications
  • The growth and spread of environmental justice
  • Environmental racism in Germany
  • Discrimination in the housing market and in housing policy
  • The climate crisis reinforces existing inequalities
  • Interaction of climate change impacts and environmental racism in Germany
  • Environmental racism violates fundamental freedoms and human rights
  • Outlook
  • Glossary
  • Literature and other sources
  • The authors
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