MEETING OF THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTMonday Sept. 28th 1998
Council Co-Chairs Jonathan Lash and Ray Anderson welcomed the Council Members and public and facilitated introductions. Mr. Anderson began by thanking Mayor Thomas Murphy for making the meeting possible. Mr. Anderson also thanked Andrew McElwaine and the Heinz Endowment, Ray Chrisman, Bob Hurley, and the local host committee for planning and sponsoring this event.
Mr. Lash gave an overview of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, explaining that prosperity, fairness, environment, and development values are key to Sustainable America. Mr. Lash illustrated this idea by pointing to Pittsburgh's successful cleanup efforts and riverfront revival.
Mr. Anderson outlined the agenda for the meeting in Pittsburgh to include:
1a. Welcome - Mayor Thomas Murphy described Pittsburgh's profound transformation over the past 20 years. Pittsburgh has been successfully building a new economy around the ideals of sustainability. Mayor Thomas Murphy pointed out some of the recent highlights,
1b.Comments by Kathleen McGinty, Chair of the White house Council on Environmental Quality
Ms. McGinty commended PCSD for its efforts to articulate and generate interest on the following two primary issues, and noted that Vice President Gore has recently drawn from PCSD for three major policy announcements.
2. OVERVIEW of SUSTAINABLE PITTSBURGH
Mr. McElwaine described the importance of the "Sustainable Pittsburgh" initiative by explaining that this effort will create choices and enable empowerment. Mr. McElwaine also discussed the goals and achievements of Governor Tom Ridges' 21st Century Environment Commission, The Green Neighborhood initiative, The Green Building Alliance, and The Center for Neighborhood Technologies metropolitan initiative. He stressed the need to support existing infrastructures before expending resources on new initiatives.
2b. Presentation by Elbert Hatley, Executive Director of the Hill Community Development Corporation in Pittsburgh
Mr. Hatley laid out 8 points of consideration for cities interested in revitalizing neglected communities:
2. Business development and retention, including funds for small businesses
3. An economic agenda must drive revitalization efforts e.g., if homes are built jobs must be created for those who live in them
4. Community involvement is necessary
5.Fair share planning and zoning
6.Fair employment and housing practices
7.Housing policies that advocate diversity
8. Tax sharing policies that eradicate disparities
Ms. Browner stressed that economic prosperity and environmental protection need not be incompatible in a sustainable America. Ms. Browner welcomed the Global Environment and Technology Foundation as a NTM co-sponsor, along with PCSD. She announced that the EPA and USDA have made $400,000 available for the planning activities. She also explained that EPA has assigned a full-time employee, Ken Patterson, to PCSD as the NTM Director
3b. Presentation by Hank Habicht, CEO of Global Environment & Technology Foundation (Co-sponsor of the NTM)
Mr. Habitch gave a brief history of GETF, stressing GETF's desire to build an infrastructure and knowledge base around energy and environmental issues. He went on to explain his enthusiasm for the coming NTM as well as the use of technology to bring people together around issues of sustainability. Pursuant to this he unveiled the new "Sustainable America" logo as well as the "Sustainable America' web site. Mr. Habitch also outlined what he believes the current priorities of NTM organizers are:
Jonathan Lash added to the preceding presentations a positive note about the sea change already afoot in America. Mr. Lash explained that his travels across the country have shown him that businesses can work with communities to effect sustainable change.
Following these presentations the members held a discussion about the NTM.
Key points were as follows:
4. Metropolitan and Rural Strategies
for Sustainable Communities Task Force
Goals of the task force:
2. promote policies that support multi-stakeholder processes
3. develop a framework of national indicators
4. engage all initiatives concerned with sustainable communities
5. advance recommendations
Four kinds of tools required:
2. Economic mechanisms and incentives
3. Financial and technical intermediaries
4. Examples of partnerships and local capacity from which we can learn
Five categories for draft recommendations:
2. Land use and development
3. Community revitalization and reinvestment
4. Rural enterprise development
5. Materials use and reuse
4b. Presentation by Rob Wolcott, Acting Deputy Administrator, USEPA Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation
Mr. Wolcott spoke to the issues of smart growth and development, and lands use. His primary focus on these issues for this presentation was to acknowledge five effective program strategies.
2.Engage the financial and business community in our efforts
3.Integrate urban and rural community strategies to reflect the inter-relatedness of these communities. Support and sustain the economic basis of rural America.
4.Launch a smart citizen network
5.Determine a method whereby environmental and metropolitan benefits can survive political changes.
Benjamin Starrett, Administrator, Strategic Planning and Policy Coordinator, Florida Department of Community Affairs
Andrew McElwaine, Program Officer and Director of Environmental Programs, The Heinz Endowment Foundation
Elbert Hatley, Executive Director, Hill Community Development Corporation
Mr. Starrett spoke about initiatives for sustainability in Florida
Mr. Mc Elwaine expressed his support for the draft recommendation's sections on economic mechanisms and incentives and the actions linked to these areas. In addition, he recommended that the Task Force emphasize investment and markets.
Mr. Hatley recommended that the Task Force address the question of race. He also suggested that economic empowerment is essential to social change.
4d. Comments and Discussion from Council Members
There is federal support for the renovation of buildings for the purpose of creating income producing rental properties but none for properties intended for owner occupancy. Since owner occupancy and home ownership are essential to revitalizing old neighborhoods is there something we can do to encourage federal support?
I just want to voice my enthusiasm that Vice President Gore has not forgotten his campaign promises and has instead helped to create this fabulous dialogue that we are witnessing today.
Several audience members voiced concern about the potential construction of a coke plant in their neighborhood.
MEETING OF THE PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTTuesday Sept. 29th 1998
1. Science Report - Latest updates on climate science
Mr. Karl presented the latest data on global warming provided by climate science. He displayed a series of graphs and charts that presented evidence from surface temperatures, ocean temperatures, alpine glaciers, and sea levels that indicated that the earth's suface temperature is rising. While data are generally consistent with predictions for a warming world, some uncertainties remain. Mr. Karl suggested that the primary scientific debate is about how much of an effect greenhouse gas release has on the environment, not whether or not there is an effect.
Skeptics have pointed out that the rate of warming was slower from the 1950's to the 1960's when our emission of greenhouse gases was increasing rapidly. How is this explained? (Mr. McCloskey)
It sounds like even full compliance with the Kyoto Protocol will not have a huge effect on future temperature changes. Is this true? (unnamed questioner)
Ms. Dillon-Ridgley suggested that the clean development mechanism (CDM) would play an important role in the Kyoto protocols as they apply internationally. She would like to see the CDM developed incrementally in such a way that would not delay participation, but rather encourage participation. Member Diane Dillon-Ridgley continued her presentation on the CDM by making the following points, that arose from the forum on the CDM and Sustainable Development that the Task Force convened in July.
3. Decision on Early Action Principles
The discussion about early action principles resulted in the following document, which PCSD presented to the Vice-President on Oct. 27th, 1998. http://www.whitehouse.gov/PCSD/tforce/cctf/cprinc.html
4. Technology Policy Recommendation Deliberations
Members discussed the language of the "Policy Principles and Draft Objectives to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions" which resulted in the document at the following address: http://www.whitehouse.gov/PCSD/tforce/cctf/obj_prin.html
Members confined the scope of the recommendations to domestic activities and technologies that can be deployed in the next ten to fifteen years.
Some of the issues they considered were:
1. The amount of energy required to recycle products.
2. How coal can be used in ways that optimize kilowatt hours per pound of fuel?
3. Dissemination of information to consumers as well as planners, civic leaders, politicians, and businesses.
4. Technologies that benefit the environment versus technologies that harm the environment.
5. Wall Street Meeting Background and Report
Mr. Locklin explained the financial impact of adverse climate changes. He began by outlining specific climate changes:
Mr. Locklin explained why companies would position themselves on the solution side rather than the problem side of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
4.capital costs risks
5.business sustainable risks
Mr. Locklin ended his presentation by outlining the requirements for financial success in the renewable energies business
3.Strong Commercial Companies
5b. Presentation by Member Bernstein,
Mr. Bernstein presented the ideas for convening a forum with "Main Street" financiers, which was developed by the Climate Task Force's Cross-cutting Climate Working Group
Bernstein asked for Council participation and ideas in making this forum productive.
6. Public Comment
Mr. Robison made the following comments. The issue of rational land use was raised in terms of avoiding urban sprawl with pro-urban policy making. Benefits of pro-urban policy making were categorized as:
2. Public utilities such as sewers, electricity, gas, and water are cheaper to build in pre-existing high-density areas as opposed to new areas of sprawl.
3. Job opportunities are easy to access in high-density areas.