Green Plans have incorporated a wide spectrum of environmental themes and policy goals; the proof is in the 20-year track record of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and the European Union, among others. Decoupling economic growth from environmental pressures is a realistic outcome of Green Plans and would secure California's future prosperity.
The interdisciplinary nature of climate change has introduced many Californians to the challenge and importance of assessing a wide spectrum of causes and policy outcomes for a safe environmental future. Like California's landmark global warming legislation of 2006, however, most climate policy is relatively new, untested, and lacking integration with sectors beyond air and energy.
Green Plans can be modified and reproduced as policy templates in states, nations, and municipalities, reducing the costs and lengthy implementation periods usually associated with complex new legislation.
Read a proposal for a California Green Plan, prepared by the WELL Network:
Explore Further Click to expand each section
Background information on state-by-state and regional initiatives in the United States.
Green Plans in Action: State of the States and Climate Change
In their role as laboratories of change for the nation, states are creating Climate Change Plans to address Green House Gas Emissions (GHG). Some of these plans are on the path toward comprehensive statewide Green Plans. Others are more limited. Some states had been incorporating sustainability into their governing principles before the trigger of climate change.
Some plans are further along than others. Our intent is to advocate for comprehensive policies that base sustainability on education and input from all sectors of social and economic life, including the citizenry; for integrated plans based on understanding that natural resources are interrelated; and for transparency in developing and implementing policies.
Following is a list of various initiatives, both regionally and by state, with links for detailed study. This list will be updated as warranted.
The Western Climate Initiative is coordinating a regional approach to Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). Partners: Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Utah, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario.Website: www.westernclimateinitiative.org
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states is initially developing a regional cap and trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from regional power plants. Members: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In addition, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Ontario, Quebec, the Eastern Canadian Provinces, and New Brunswick are observers to the process. Website: www.rggi.org
Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord. Members include: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as the Premier of the Canadian Province of Manitoba. Indiana, Ohio, and South Dakota are observers to the process. The Accord is expected to be fully implemented in 2010. http://www.midwesterngovernors.org/govenergynov.htm
- Financial Instrument for EU environmental policy. It co-finances projects in three areas: nature conservation, environment policy and legislation, and provides technical assistance for sustainability to third countries
- European Commission, Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry
Developed and maintained to disseminate information on all EU policies, actions and initiatives promoting growth and development, with a view to strengthening the competitiveness of EU enterprises
- Council of European Municipalities and Regions
CEMR is the largest European association of local and regional authorities. Its main aims are to promote local and regional self-government and democracy
Business and Trade Unions
Provides daily updated news and information about EU policy, legislation, economic data and opportunities. Entered into partnership with business publisher Crimson Business. Crimson Business seeks to inspire and inform owners and directors of the UK's smaller and mid-sized businesses through magazines, websites, customer media and events
- European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
One voice for 60 million workers. ETUC seeks to promote the European Social Model and to work for the development of a united Europe of peace and stability where working people and their families enjoy full human and civil rights and high living standards
- EEN - EPHA Environment Network
Independent health and environment network linking significant research findings to recommendations on policy action and supports citizen and NGO awareness and participation in EU policy making, representing their concerns toward better protection of health and the environment
- Friends of the Earth Europe
Leads campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment, unites more than 30 national organizations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International
- Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR)
MEWR aims to move from maintaining good environmental performance in the short term to achieving environmental sustainability in the long term, is in charge of the Singapore Green Plan, and provides water resources for all in Singapore
- National Environment Agency (NEA)
Formed under the MEWR, NEA focuses on the implementation of environmental policies
- Singapore Environment Institute (SEI)
SEI is the environmental training division of the National Environment Agency (NEA), a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore. SEI also offers general environmental awareness courses on weather, resource conservation, and environmental laws to the general public
- Singapore Cabinet
The Cabinet is responsible for all government policies and the day-to-day administration collectively responsible to the Parliament
- Parliament of Singapore
The Singapore Parliament has a single House and together with the President of Singapore is known as the Legislature
- Singapore Public Service Commission
Key pillar of the public service and serves as the independent custodian of the integrity and values of the Civil Service
- Land Transport Authority (LTA)
A statutory board under the Ministry of Transport, which develops and manages Singapore's land transport system, taking care of those who drive as well as those who take public transport
- Building & Construction Authority (BCA)
An agency under the Ministry of National Development, championing the development of an excellent "built environment" (buildings, structures and infrastructure in surroundings that provide the setting for the community's activities) for Singapore
- Department of Statistics
The central statistical authority responsible for official statistics on the Singapore economy and population
- Defense Science & Technology
DSTA is the first statutory board to be set up under the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF). It is responsible for implementing defense technology plans, managing defense research and development, acquiring defense materiel and developing defense infrastructure for MINDEF
- Housing & Development Board (HDB)
HDB is Singapore's public housing authority and a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development. Plans and develops public housing towns that provide Singaporeans with quality homes and living environments
- Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
URA is Singapore's national land use planning authority. It prepares long term strategic plans, as well as detailed local area plans, for physical development, and then co-ordinates and guides efforts to bring these plans to reality
- Economic Development Board (EDB)
EDB is the lead government agency responsible for planning and executing economic strategies to enhance Singapore's position as a global hub for business and investment. It facilitates and supports local and foreign investors in both the manufacturing and services sectors as they seek more value-creating operations, higher sustainable returns and new business opportunities
- Singapore Education
It is a multi-government agency initiative launched by the Singapore Government to establish and promote Singapore as a premier education hub and help international students make an informed decision on studying in Singapore. This initiative is led by the Singapore Economic Development Board and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, SPRING Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore and the Ministry of Education.
- International Enterprise (IE) Singapore
IE Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading the development of Singapore 's external economy. Its mission is to promote overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international tradeLocal government
- The Community Development Council (CDC)
CDC functions as a local administration of its District, initiating, planning and managing community program to promote community bonding and social cohesion. The CDC also provides various community and social assistance services delegated from the Ministries
- Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR)
CLAIR in Singapore was set up in 1990 to support and promote international activities and friendly relations between local governments in Japan and their counterparts in Singapore and other ASEAN countries. CLAIR Singapore assists with research and study visits as well as with the tours for exchange program
- Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI)
SCCCI is an internationally renowned business organization and the apex body of the Chinese business community in Singapore. It plays a proactive role in representing the interests of the local business community and contributing to economic, educational, cultural and community development in Singapore. The SCCCI has a membership network of about 120 trade associations and 4,000 corporate issues
- Singapore Business Federation (SBF)
SBF champions the interests of the business community in Singapore in trade, investment and industrial relations and acts as the bridge between the government and businesses. Internationally, SBF represents the business community in bilateral, regional, multilateral fora for the purpose of promoting trade expansion and business networking
- The Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC)
SICC is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in Asia. It is accepted by the Government as representing the multinational investment interests in the Republic. At the same time, the Chamber's substantial local membership gives it firm roots in Singapore
- European Chamber of Commerce Singapore (EuroCham Singapore)
EuroCham Singapore is the federation of all the European National Business Groups in Singapore. It promotes trade and investment between Europe and Singapore, establishes networking connections with relevant trade/industry bodies and act as a strong representative for the European business community in Singapore.
- Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF)
SiTF is Singapore's premier infocomm industry association. The SiTF assists their members in business development, market intelligence, overseas trade missions, networking and alliances
- Singapore Environment Council (SEC)
Nationally oriented, independently managed body, to nurture, facilitate and co-ordinate environmental causes and groups in Singapore
- Green Growth
The foremost strategy to ensure environmental and economic sustainability of the countries in the Asia and Pacific region
- Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA)
Dedicated to research, analysis and discussion of regional and international issues, aims to make Singapore more cosmopolitan and global society through research, policy work and public education on international affairs
- Waste Management & Recycling Association of Singapore
Aims to professionalize and develop a leading waste management and recycling industry in Asia
- Waterways Watch Society
Assists in keeping the waterways of Singapore clean and free of pollution, and organizes on-going activities aimed at educating the public on the importance of keeping the waterways clean
- Nature Society of Singapore
Dedicated to the appreciation, conservation, study and enjoyment of the natural heritage in Singapore, Malaysia and the surrounding region
- Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN)
Started as a national project and funded by the government in 1997, SingAREN ensures that Singapore research and education (R&E) community is connected to the international R&E community
- Energy Sustainability Unit (ESU)
Established in 2004 at the School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, advances energy sustainable development in Singapore and the tropics by establishing a knowledge base for fostering healthy, productive and sustainable environmental practices and research
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
NTU is a research-intensive university with globally acknowledged strengths in science and engineering. Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI) was established on the same campus in 1981 with government funding to educate practice-oriented engineers for the burgeoning Singapore economy. In 1991, NTI became NTU with the absorption of the National Institute of Education.
- National Institute of Education (NIE)
NIE is the sole teacher training institute in Singapore and a part of the Nanyang Technological University. The mission of NIE is to excel in teacher education and educational research
By Peggy Lauer, Southern CA Coordinator for RRI’s Forces of Nature & former RRI Green Plans Director
Posted on August 29, 2013 by admin
Thomas Winston Fookes, a great friend to us at RRI and one of our first Forces of Nature, passed away on August 2 in his homeland of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Tom was a passionate practitioner and teacher of green planning and part of a tight knit network of green plan advisors from New Zealand, the Netherlands, other European states, Canada, and Mexico City. Numerous colleagues, students, friends and family the world over will sorely miss him.
Tom’s life was brief by most counts, but from his early 20s to his death in his 60s, he accomplished more for his community, his nation, and the field of planning than anyone RRI has met over the past 25 years. When I worked with Huey Johnson and our small RRI staff throughout the 1990s, he was a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops. He last joined RRI for a Green Planning conference held in conjunction with the 2008 Bioneers Conference. Tom was the one to orient visitors from the U.S. on his nation’s green plan – the Resource Management Act – during RRI’s Seeing is Believing policy tours to New Zealand. He knew everything about it, as he was a chief architect of the RMA during its first five years of inspiration and implementation.
Working within the Ministry of Environment, Tom was the author of some of the RMA’s important elements. He was behind the most extensive public participatory process in New Zealand history, an effort that gathered voices from the Coromandel in the North to the wee islands off the southernmost coast of the nationFor several days, people were encouraged to ring up the Minister, Geoffrey Palmer, and talk with him directly about environmental problems that concerned them as well as related societal issues. This democratic effort was the foundation of the restructuring of the nation’s environmental laws, a stark departure from the top-down approach of asking citizens to respond to a government proposed solution.
The key to Tom’s genius was his willingness to take chances in an arena that is risk-averse. He saw the enormous wave of challenges standing in the way of the Ministry’s inclusive big vision for forestry, fisheries, agriculture, habitat protection, air quality – and its relationship with industry. But, by turns of focused hard work and a mischievous, delightful way of tweaking the system he served, Tom was able to grab hold of opportunities that few in his generation noticed. From behind the scenes Tom always worked to turn those into opportunities for New Zealanders.
As a top student in geography and urban planning in the early 1960s, Tom studied best practices from around the world. He had the good fortune of studying for two years in Athens, Greece with Constantinos Doxiadis, who had assembled leaders in disciplines concerning the built environment. Together they developed Ekistics. Tom fell in love with the work and its practical complexity. He worked closely not only with Doxiadis, but those he brought to Greece, such as the anthropologist Margaret Mead and cutting edge architects, such as Buckminster Fuller and Lord Llewelyn Davies.
Tom brought home what he experienced in Greece, but he “left his hat” there, as he put it, which he went back often to retrieve. Years later Tom became president of the Society of Ekistics, and he and his wife, Susan, bought a second home where he went on to spent a month at a time, refreshing his vision for the environment and society.
My most vivid memories of Tom were from my three months in New Zealand in 1998. He had recommended me in my application for a visiting lectureship in the University of Auckland’s Planning Department. I learned I’d been accepted for the fall semester the day after I learned I was pregnant. I remember being startled when I saw the subject line of Tom’s email, which read, “Congratulations!” My first thought was, how did he know I’m having a baby?
Four months pregnant and with a light load as a guest lecturer on international green planning, I was lucky enough to audit one of Tom’s graduate town planning seminar classes. He listened more than spoke, gently guiding students’ ideas by giving them larger context. His enthusiasm and passion for his work was amazing to behold, particularly as he had recently been diagnosed with cancer and had begun his first round of chemotherapy. Despite his diminished energy, he pushed himself to maintain his workload. This was a concern to his family, but they knew how integral his work and intellectual rigor was to his quality of life. Tom’s colleague, Dr. Michael Pritchard, alternated with him as dean of the school. He watched over me, and oriented me to the campus and the politics. Although I lived on campus, Tom and Susan welcomed me to spend time with them and two of their young adult children. Catherine was studying art in college and Ian was in his first year in philosophy. Their older daughter, Emma, whom I had met as a university student years earlier, was now a law clerk for the government in Wellington. As an English teacher, Susan opened my eyes to the challenging education system in the nation’s largest city, and insights into the changing relationships between the Maori and other Polynesians and the dominant culture of the Pakeha, the Euro-New Zealanders.
It was exhilarating and calming to be pregnant in New Zealand, lecturing at a world-class university, in a city experiencing a cultural explosion in art, food, and wine (though I couldn’t drink it), and having a winning rugby team, the Auckland Blues, to cheer on. It was great to find truly cage-free eggs and chicken, and to walk and swim every day. And it was useful to read what others in resource management on an international scale saw in New Zealand’s green plan. Here was a small, largely agrarian, “laboratory” country - the first nation in which women voted, and where nuclear ships have been barred since 1987 – that was ending agricultural subsidies and using watersheds to redraw political lines. Dr. Fookes was among those explaining the eventual benefits to the people - and the environment - which was also so important to the nation’s economy.
My time there as an expectant mother, seeing a midwife and meeting Maori and Samoan mothers-to-be, led me to a deeper place spiritually – enhanced by the nation’s stunning physical wilderness. New Zealanders grok that Mother Earth is very much alive and always creating. Some of the majestic mountains are still active volcanoes, as well as sacred sites, revered by the Maori and acknowledged by the Pakeha. The sweeping seascapes and fiords sometimes shift during earthquakes. The rivers are pulsing with fish. Whatever their background, New Zealanders live closely with nature – and seemingly have it in their DNA from childhood. Many give back to this land. Tom did, with passion, savvy, and deep love.
I came home with a fresh perspective on the merits and challenges of green planning – and continue to use Tom’s wisdom in my work. On a personal level, I credit Tom and his extraordinary family for my deep love of New Zealand. On a trip to the Bay Area in 1998, Sue and Tom met my baby, Jackson Lee Lauer Meuse. Both Catherine and Ian each met him here a few years later. My son spent three months of his inner water life in New Zealand, a place that nurtured both of us, and I believe he will return someday to Aotearoa to meet the Fookes family. While he won’t meet Tom, he will know many stories about him. Jackson will then see that so much of what Tom Fookes did for his beautiful and resourceful country is still there to behold. We will carry Tom Fookes’ legacy with us always.