Nation-states are, and will continue to be, the most important political units that take responsibility for organizing the human responses to global environmental change. Because environmental change may be a direct result of global economic activity, nation-states are required to implement international agreements to reduce, eliminate, or adjust current industrial practices. National-level government are best equipped to deal with the broad environmental changes that occur within the borders of any given country.
International environmental treaties and agreements often drive the creation of national response strategies and action plans. At the same time, strong national interest in an issue may drive an issue onto (or off) the international agenda. Particular nations respond differently to various global environmental issues. National response strategies can be generated as part of a coordinated international undertaking, at the initiative of individual nations, or at the behest of non-governmental organizations.