Germany is one of the leading countries when it comes to addressing global environmental issues and developing new technologies. This cluster focuses on the interface between science and policy in the environmental area and how this issue is addressed by different forms of government. The environment raises a variety of issues also beyond the policy arena: As environmental issues increasingly raise questions about lifestyles and consumption patterns, consideration of viewpoints from stakeholders and publics becomes increasingly important.

"Given that the most pressing issue facing the world today is climate change--and especially given the role Canada is playing in this global devastation--we need to ask how we as scholars in the humanities—and as responsible scholars in Canada--can help re-conceive our relationship to nature.  The research working group on the environment at the Waterloo Centre for German Studies addresses a wide range of responses to the concept of environment.  Topics of focus may include: German literature and ecocriticism, animals in German literature and philosophy, Goethe and science, women and ecological justice from Hildegard von Bingen to the present, Romantic ecology and its theories of vitalism and organicism, the theory of homeopathy and its relation to the environment, "Naturlyrik," colonialist expansion and the creation of the zoo, the history of "Lebensreform" movements, the critique of technology in philosophy (Heidegger, Hans Jonas), the critique of anthropocentrism, "the Eternal Treblinka" (I. B. Singer), biopolitics from the Nazis to the present, writings on weather or landscape, Green Party politics from the 1980s onward, green architecture, de-industrialization, and landscape parks in Germany today."

Members of the Environment Cluster