Environmental issues are forcing governments to collaborate both internally and externally. Management of the vast number of interconnected environmental concerns demands that government collaborates both between various departments and with other governments. Focusing on collaboration between and within various agencies is a matter of efficient governance. Clearly environmental issues do not respect national boundaries. To get serious about containing climate change we must manage intra-governmental conflicts as well as transnational issues.
For all including governments, cost cutting is the low hanging fruit in efforts to engage the myriad threats to the environment. Whether to cut costs or mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, government agencies must work together to address environmental issues.
Here are several examples of government collaboration involving the US, Australia, Germany and the UK.
US: Collaboration Within Government
Interdepartmental coordination is essential to a positive outcome. This is the focus of a 2012 “Memorandum on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution” from the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Environmental Quality.
The memorandum states that sound stewardship of natural resources requires collaborative environmental governance. The memorandum addresses the issues of conservation, and environmental restoration, natural resources, and
The memorandum specifically states:
Collaboration shortens the planning processes, expedites implementation
of projects, minimizes roadblocks among stakeholders, and avoids
protracted and costly litigation. By explicitly encouraging environmental collaboration governments can minimize conflict and facilitate effective action.
We share the resources of one Earth, including the air and the water. The pollution that is emitted by
one nation constitutes a problem for us all. There is no getting around the fact
that planetary and human health are dependent on our ability to
coordinate effective responses across national boundaries.
Germany and the UK: Collaboration Between Governments
The governments of Germany and the UK understand that it is in our
shared interest to address the overarching impacts of climate change.
Governments are working with major polluters to help reduce global environmental impacts.
During a visit to China at the end of August, German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed ways the two countries can collaborate on the environment. The two nations signed a number of deals covering clean technology and environmental protection.
The UK is collaborating with China
to combat climate change and address issues of energy security. Similar
projects involving climate and energy modeling software are also
ongoing between the UK and 12 other countries and involve the
development. The UK is also collaborating with the US on ‘floating’ wind turbine.
Australia: Collaboration with Private Interests
The Australian government also supports greater collaboration. One
example is the Industry Innovation Council which actively engages with
stakeholders and organisations. One example of the Councils work
concerns the comprehensive Automotive Australia 2020 Technology Roadmap
total approximately 220 individuals from 160 organisations contributed
more than 2,500 hours to the project. Participants included vehicle
producers, automotive suppliers, science and research organisations,
governments and other stakeholder groups.
The Roadmap was released on 6 August 2010, it identifies 32 technology
opportunities in four broad areas: vehicle electrification; gaseous
fuels; light weighting; and advanced data and communications systems.
The Roadmap is a collaborative partnership that represents the kind of functional
relationships that can exist between private industry, governments and
These are but a few examples of environmentally oriented strategic alliances aimed at tackling climate change. Whether dealing with initiatives concerning the air, water, energy, or transportation, governments around the world are seeing the indispensable value of environmental collaboration.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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