Subnational Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Subnational Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Transatlantic Cooperation between the United States and Germany

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Holley Andrea Ralston

This fascinating volume examines the recent increase in subnational environmental policy agreements between different countries, with a particular focus on Germany and the US. Holley Ralston explores why international environmental partnerships are forming at the state level and the factors that both aid and inhibit their long-term success.

Chapter 5: Wisconsin and Bavaria (1998)

Holley Andrea Ralston

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


On 1 December 1998, in Munich, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Dr Werner Schnappauf, State Minister of the Ministry for Regional Development and Environmental Affairs, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a Regulatory Reform Working Partnership. This official document, which is reasonably straightforward about its intentions and justifications, listed three overarching objectives and ten specific goals and methods for the partnership. The primary objectives were: first, to achieve a sustainable economic and environmental system both in and beyond the two states; second, to attain more cooperation between government and business than is attainable under the command-and-control method; and third, to explore voluntary agreements and environmental management systems (EMSs) as the facilitating instrument (Wisconsin DNR and Bavaria MRDEA, 1998). The crux of the ten specific goals and methods was to establish ëjoint projectsí to encourage private sector participation in ëEMSs verified/certified to EMAS/IS0 14000 et seq. standards according to the principles of performance audits and legal complianceí (Wisconsin DNR and Bavaria MRDEA, 1998). In addition, the partners aimed to support an academic partnership between experts in environmental management and new regulatory systems as well as in engineering and technology, and to promote research into the development of environmental technology. Moreover, the two states agreed to work together on a ëcommon international environmental law projectí (Wisconsin DNR and Bavaria MRDEA, 1998).

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