On Wednesday, Green Cities California (GCC), a coalition of 10 environmentally progressive local governments, will launch a Website to track green legislation, policies and practices in California. The site is needed, say organizers, because many small cities don’t have staff to support the creation of new laws, and large cities may operate independently, unknowingly duplicating efforts. The GCC is intended to simplify policy development and help prevent policymakers from “reinventing the wheel” or repeating errors.
According to the site, the GCC’s primary goals are to:
1. Influence state and national policy in several areas:
- Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
- Extended producer responsibility
- Sustainable land use, building and development
- Waste reduction
- Water conservation
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy
- Reduction in vehicle miles traveled and single occupancy vehicles
- Equitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens
2. Assist other local governments throughout the state and the nation to adopt and implement sustainability related policies and practices.
3. Work collaboratively on specific “eco-initiatives” such as collectively agreeing to purchase only 100 percent recycled paper and prohibiting the use of city funds for bottled water.
For each policy outlined, the site provides information including the ordinance or resolution itself, research, legal analysis, staff reports, and outreach materials.
Current GCC members are the cities of Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Marin County. Pre-requisites for joining the GCC include the adoption of 1) a local sustainability plan, 2) the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords, and 3) the Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
The GCC site can be found at www.greencitiescalifornia.org.