Transatlantic Environmental Partnerships
U.S. and European views on a number of environmental issues, such as climate change or genetically modified organisms, are frequently viewed as irreconcilable. Interestingly, there seems to be more mutual understanding and agreement on the sub-national level. In recent years, a number of transatlantic partnerships between regional and local institutions have evolved in order to exchange information and best practices in the environmental policy area. Senior Fellow Markus Knigge presented his research on the role, functioning and the effectiveness of transatlantic environmental partnerships at an AICGS workshop on 19 October 2005 in Washington, D.C.
Thanks to a DAAD/AICGS Research grant, Senior Fellow Markus Knigge spent September and October 2005 at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington DC. In this time, he carried out research on states' climate change initiatives, the role of subnational actors in the federal policy making process and transatlantic relations. In his final presentation, he presented key features of subnational transatlantic environmental partnerships, with particular attention being paid to the cooperations' impacts. In addition, specific challenges to and opportunities for subnational transatlantic cooperation were identified and discussed. The ensuing discussion touched on, among other things, the following issues: The effectiveness of partnerships; the need for an institutionalization of partnerships; and the potential contribution of organizations, such as Sister Cities International and the European Environmental Council of the States to support transatlantic environmental cooperation.