Date of Award

Spring 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Aline Kuntz


Why is climate change a top priority on the political agenda in Germany and not a top priority on the political agenda in the United States? This study seeks to answer this question by examining the evolution of climate change policy in both countries. Analyzing Germany's and America's environmental movement, the thesis points to several theories which include the European Union and cultural values. However, it is the nations' political structures/institutions and their post WWII foreign policy views that most determine where climate change policy stands on each country's political agenda. The analysis concludes with a possible outlook on America's environmental leadership.