At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, political leaders from more than a hundred countries made a formal commitment to intensify efforts to resolve global environment and development problems and to strive for sustainable development. This volume examines how governments in the developed industrial world have responded to the challenge of sustainable development since it was catapulted into the international stage. It focuses on the central government engagement with sustainable development in Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. The study shows that sustainable development has been integrated into governmental idiom in most jurisdictions and has come to be associated with a series of changes to the structures and approached deployed to manage environmental problems. Yet, it also reveals significant differences of interpretation and priority, and in enthusiasm with which sustainable development has been received.