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Page added on December 29, 2006

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Top 10 sustainability stories of 2006

The year of 2006 in review from the perspective of sustainability in state and local government, presented in order of importance.

Though we have been doing this blog only since May, so much has gone on since then that we are overwhelmed by the evidence that the nation is experiencing a collective tipping point. As Old Abe used to write–to wit:

1. Climate Change Policy Milestones:

California, led by Gov. Schwarzenegger and the state General Assembly, passed legislation to reduce climate change emissions by 25% by 2020. Soon after British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Schwarzenegger and others in a climate change task force, and the English government released the Stern Report. The report, from the former chief economist of the World Bank, forecasted that global economic output would be reduced by 5-20 percent if global carbon emissions increase unabated.

2. Boston Requires Green Construction for All Large Buildings:

In the last weeks of December, Mayor Thomas Menino announced a sweeping change to city zoning. The new ordinance requires that all buildings over 50,000 square feet be certified by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environment and Energy (LEED) standard. Look for this move to spread similar ordinances across the nation’s cities. Previously cities have only required LEED standards for municipal buildings. Boston is making this the law for all large buildings, which should give a jolt to the area’s green economy, impacting developers, architects, contractors and product manufacturers.


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