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Wednesday, May 5, 1999
For Immediate Release Presidential Blue
Ribbon Panel Recommends Actions to Address Sprawl, Climate Change, and
Corporate Environmental Responsibility
In its third and final
report to President Clinton, The President's Council on Sustainable Development
today recommended 140 actions that will improve our economy, protect our
environment, and improve our quality of life. Many of these actions address
important current issues like sprawl, climate change, urban renewal, and
corporate environmental responsibility.
The Council, a panel of
leaders from business, government and non-profit organizations, was formed to
advise the White House on ways to integrate economic goals with environmental
and social goals. The Council has worked collaboratively for six years, and
held more than 40 public meetings and workshops in communities around the
"Our challenge is to create a future in which prosperity and
opportunity increase while life flourishes and pressures on the Earth
diminish," said Ray Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Interface, Inc.
and Council co-chair. "Fortunately, people, companies, and communities are
working together like never before to find solutions that work. This report
draws a blueprint for making our future both economically prosperous and
"We have set out a vision of a sustainable
America in terms of concrete ideas, examples of success, and proposals for
national policy," said Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources
Institute and Council co-chair. "From creative ways to eliminate pollution to
mortgages that fight sprawl, this report reflects the dialogue learning and
eventual consensus the President's Council of Sustainable Development has built
around innovative ideas."
Tapping into a recent groundswell of public
concern over issues it examined, the Council today presented its consensus
report, Towards a Sustainable America: Advancing Prosperity, Opportunity, and a
Healthy Environment for the 21st Century, to President Clinton. The report
offers over 50 immediate actions to create jobs, protect the climate and public
health, and save money in the short- and long-run; it advocates 34 specific
actions to push environmental management reforms beyond current programs to
create better corporate bottom lines, build partnerships with communities, and
improve environmental protection; it recommends over 40 bold, systematic and
specific steps for all levels of government, businesses, community
organizations and citizens who are building more livable communities.
The recommended actions include: Pursuing "smart growth" strategies that link
development decisions with quality of life and capitalizing on market factors.
Giving homebuyers financial incentive to buy near transportation hubs through
location efficient mortgages. Encouraging the renewal of aging cities by
experimenting with Individual Development Accounts, a means to build wealth for
the poor and low income by matching savings with funds from other sources like
foundations or corporations. Testing audit and certification program where
federal and state agencies provide more operational flexibility and faster
regulatory decisions for high performing companies. The need for action to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and incentives and credit for those actions.
Dr. Linn Draper, Jr., Chairman, President, and CEO, American Electric
Power, remarking on the Council's recommendations on reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, said, "We cannot make progress quickly enough without meaningful
incentives. We must create opportunities to learn by doing. Like Americans have
so often done before when we face great challenges, we get the best people,
apply sweat and commitment, and we can make a difference."
Bernstein, President of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, notes that "The
public's appetite for good jobs and healthy communities is growing rapidly.
These recommendations will help put the place back into marketplace. They are a
roadmap for achieving smart growth for all communities, expanding markets in a
cleaner and greener environment, and supporting the network of open spaces and
natural areas we need to survive."
The PCSD released the report on the
final day of its National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America (NTM), held in
Detroit, Michigan and points across America May 2-5, 1999. The meeting brought
together over 3,000 people in Detroit and more than 75,000 in 100+ events
across the country. The NTM program showcased best practices in sustainability,
and helped highlight the relevance and importance of the Council's
The PCSD is a presidentially-appointed panel of
leaders from U.S. businesses, environmental and citizen organizations, Native
American groups, and local and federal government officials.
Council is charged with advising President Clinton on strategies to achieve
prosperity, opportunity, and a healthy environment, and is the only
presidential or federal advisory panel charged with recommending policies
across the full spectrum of economic, environmental, and social policy issues.
The Council has issued several reports on sustainable development and has
successfully fostered many local and regional efforts to achieve a better
future. All reports are available on the Council's web site, /PCSD