Depending on the type of government regime, environmental politics may have either a large or a small impact on a county's decision-making. This effect may vary depending on whether alternate political parties are permitted to exist, or the degree of
democracy in a country. In general, there are two main types of political regimes: the liberal-democratic and the one-party authoritarian.
The first, clearly the system in countries of North America and large portions of Europe, has two defining elements that make it ideal for environmental activists. First, these countries are relatively liberal; they grant their citizens numerous
rights and freedoms, such as freedom of speech. These rights not only legalize the forming of alternate political parties, they actually encourage such parties as well. Second, these countries are democratic, giving citizens the opportunity to vote and thereby encouraging their involvement in different issues and candidates by granting everyone a role in politics. Because of this, environmental issues come to be taken into consideration by all parties, for voters are usually the
people affected by these issues. Under these conditions, citizens concerned about the environment have not only a chance to be elected to public office, but they are also given the opportunity to voice their opinions through voting and other democratic means. These create a large place in liberal-democratic regimes for environmental politics.
Another regime is the one-party authoritarian and, within this category, military dictatorships. In this category, there
is little room for any politics other than that enforced by the leader. These governments are more likely to repress alternative parties, instead of encouraging them as liberal regimes tend more to do. Environmental politics is still an issue, but for the most part, it is given much less attention and is less widely recognized. However, the degree of repression varies among these governments, so it is important not to forget about the existence of environmentalism in this
type of regime. The degree of attention paid to environmental politics is no doubt less than in democracies, but it is still a factor that cannot be ignored because of its social importance.