Federal Association of Citizens' Initiatives Environmental Protection

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Federal Association of Citizens' Initiatives Environmental Protection
purpose Umbrella organization of citizens' initiatives in the field of environmental protection
Chair: Ursula Weiß, Oliver Kalusch, Peter Schott
Establishment date: June 24, 1972
Number of members: up to approx. 1000 initiatives, currently up to 300
Seat : Bonn
Website: bbu-online.de

The Federal Association of Citizens' Initiatives Environmental Protection (BBU) e. V. is an umbrella organization of citizens' initiatives in the field of environmental protection . The association was founded on June 24, 1972 by the first environmental policy initiatives and is recognized as a non-profit organization.

The main focus of work includes the demand for an immediate nuclear phase-out , the promotion of renewable energies and thus the protection of the climate , water protection , a sustainable transport policy , health (including avoidance of indoor pollutants).


Before 1970, there were many local environmental and nature conservation initiatives in the Federal Republic of Germany, but they received little national attention. Only the internationally active World Association for the Protection of Life had around a thousand German members, some of them right-wing extremists, and the “Interest Group for Combating Aircraft Noise” had around 15,000 members (1966). Only around 1970 did the social-liberal awakening produce more and more environmental initiatives. If nature conservation was previously represented by conservative people, the political spectrum has now expanded. It was about poison in food, radioactivity and water pollution. Gordon Taylor's “The Suicide Program” reached five editions in Germany in 1970 with a total of 50,000 copies. In 1972, Dennis Meadow's Limits to Growth followed with even greater success . In the 1972 federal election campaign , “ quality of life ” became the central term. First of all, regional initiatives came together: the Rhein-Main-Aktion against environmental destruction (1970), the Rhein-Ruhr-Aktion (1971) or in the Rhine-Neckar region. From 1972 the BBU united up to about a thousand organizations with up to 500,000 members (numbers fluctuating).

From 1973 the anti-nuclear movement determined the focus of work. In the mid-1970s, after the non-violent struggle for the Wyhl nuclear power plant , more and more West German citizens' initiatives (including those in Alsace ) were organized in the BBU - in addition to individuals, the majority of which were primarily involved in the fight against the use of nuclear energy. In the beginning, it was more about river warming and radiation that is damaging to viticulture, less about accidents and waste. In this way, the BBU has made a significant contribution to anchoring the citizens' initiative movement in Germany. The founding chairman was Horst Zilleßen from the Social Science Institute of the Evangelical Church , then followed in 1973 by the nuclear power plant activist Hans Helmuth Wüstenhagen (1923-1996), who resigned in 1977 when he was accused of denigrating communist members. After that there were three chairmen with equal rights, of which Jo Leinen, who later became Minister for the Environment in Saarland, was particularly prominent.

When the Greens established themselves as a political party from 1978 onwards, this was welcomed in the BBU, but they also kept their distance in order to remain non-partisan. Important people who were members of the board of the BBU accompanied and strengthened the history of the environmental movements and were later represented in European politics, the Bundestag or in international environmental and Agenda 21 associations such as Petra Kelly , Eva Quistorp , Roland Vogt , Christa Reetz , Eberhard Walde . Some also worked in the SPD, such as Jo Leinen. In the 1980s, the BBU was also active in the West German peace movement against the NATO double resolution and organized Easter marches .

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and chairman of the GDR State Council, Erich Honecker, received a delegation from the Federal Association of Citizens' Initiative Environmental Protection eV (BBU) from the FRG invited to the GDR for an exchange of views.

There were only weak contacts with the East German environmental groups of the opposition , while in the peace movement there was cooperation with SED-affiliated groups, which flowed into Jo Linen's visit to Erich Honecker in 1984. But the GDR milieu remained alien to the BBU. The BBU is still barely represented in the eastern federal states. An organization roughly comparable to the BBU is the ecological network Green League .

The BBU has been a member of the European Environment Bureau (EEB) again since the end of 2005 . The association has been part of the Cooperation for Peace since 2003 .


Individuals as well as groups and registered associations can become members of the BBU. Due to the decentralized organizational principle, there is no subdivision into state associations or the like, but there are individual state associations that are themselves organized as registered associations, such as the state association of citizens' initiatives for environmental protection (LBU) Lower Saxony . Each member initiative and also the working groups of the association work independently within the framework of the objectives of the BBU. Since its foundation, the tasks of the BBU have included the coordination and networking of the individual citizens' initiatives via the office in Bonn. In addition, it is increasingly acting as a “lobby association” at the federal level in the interests of the common goal of securing the natural foundations of life. The BBU is financed through membership fees and donations. Many member associations do not send delegates to the general assembly. In practice, 80 to 100 larger groups determine the course.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz-Josef Brüggemeier: Chernobyl, April 26, 1986. The ecological challenge . dtv, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-423-30617-3 , p. 210-218 .
  2. Jump up to a better future - DER SPIEGEL 13/1980. Retrieved May 6, 2020 .
  3. ^ Frank Schnieder: From the social movement to the institution ?: The emergence of the party The Greens in the years 1978 to 1980: arguments, developments and strategies using the example of Bonn / Hanover / Osnabrück . LIT Verlag Münster, 1998, ISBN 978-3-8258-3695-5 ( google.de [accessed on May 6, 2020]).
  4. ^ The strategic (powerless) power of the peace movement: Communication and decision-making structures in the eighties . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-322-94184-8 ( google.de [accessed on May 6, 2020]).
  5. ZEIT ONLINE. Retrieved May 6, 2020 .
  6. Cooperation for Peace, Participants ( Memento from August 26, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  7. ^ Website of the Landesverband Bürgerinitiativen environmental protection association in Lower Saxony
  8. Udo Kempf: Citizens' initiatives and representative system . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-322-99364-9 ( google.de [accessed on May 6, 2020]).