While environmental concerns have recently taken a backseat to the economic and financial crisis, scientific projections on climate change continue to call for action. Yet, international cooperation has been hampered and a rift between developed and developing nations is increasingly evident. Companies from developed countries are interested in recouping their investments in clean energy technology through property rights; developing nations contend, however, that such technology must be made available to all nations. This Policy Report, featuring essays from Robert Percival and Miranda Schreurs, examines American and German views on this contentious issue, focusing on what roles technology transfer and intellectual property rights play in the climate policy debate.

After World War II, both East and West Germany were focused on reconstruction and promoting economic development, and very little attention was given to environmental protection in the quest to rebuild. In this Transatlantic Perspectives essay, Professor Miranda Schreurs, Director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre and a regular participant in AICGS programs, examines how Germany transitioned from an environmental mess to become a global environmental leader, focusing on a transition of values as well as the role of unification in this process.

In an increasingly interwoven and interdependent transatlantic community, the political decision-making process is expanding both horizontally and vertically. The actors on the policy stage are multiplying at all levels. The role of subnational units—be they cities, states, or regions—have become stronger as they impact the national governments. This is particularly pronounced in federal systems such as the United States and Germany…