Transatlantic Cooperation between the United States and Germany
New Horizons in Environmental Politics series
Chapter 1: Introduction
One of the more exciting developments in international environmental protection has been the proliferation of initiatives at the subnational level. An important but not so well-known component of this is the international partnerships between US and German subnational governments, states and L‰nder, respectively. The primary aims of these partnerships include drawing lessons from as well as transferring innovative policies and technologies. The partnerships relate to global governance for sustainable development. This concept stems from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and related approaches and processes, such as the International Organization for Standardizationís (ISO) environmental management standards, the climate change regime, and the push for ecological modernization. The partnerships suggest a true multi-level dimension to global governance for sustainable development, as called for at the UNCED, from the international to the subnational, in which ideas and policies move in both a downward and an upward fashion (although not necessarily hierarchically) as well as horizontally. The 1992 UNCED marked a new era of environmental protection in a globalized world. It was at this summit where the emerging principle of sustainable development became solidified. The focus was development of a long-term strategic approach to environmental protection that includes all relevant sectors and environmental media at all levels of government; in other words it was a multi-actor, multi-level governance approach.