President's Council on Sustainable Development

The President’s Council on Sustainable Development was established in 1994 by Executive Order. The national goals established if implemented would enhance the economy of the United States while preserving and protecting the environment and preventing disease and injury to people. Briefly, these goals state:

  • 1. Every person should have access to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment at home, at work, and in recreational areas.
  • 2. Create and sustain a healthy economy providing good jobs and a high quality of life.
  • 3. Ensure that all people can have affordable access to the law.
  • 4. Protect, conserve, and restore natural resources as long-term commitments.
  • 5. Take responsibility for all corporate, institutional, and individual decisions affecting the environment and others.
  • 6. Develop sustainable communities that utilize resources efficiently.
  • 7. Create an opportunity for everyone to work together for a better environment.
  • 8. Become a leader in international responses to stabilization of the environment.
  • 9. Create the opportunity for all Americans to have equal access to education and life-long learning. (See endnote 29.)

The Council made numerous excellent recommendations but unfortunately, few were adopted. The Congress was more interested in other issues.

Recent Executive Orders Concerning Environmental Sustainability

According to Executive Order 13423 of January 24, 2007, the goals for the federal agencies were: to improve energy efficiency, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to require additional renewable energy, to reduce water consumption, to recycle and use recycled materials, to reduce toxic and hazardous chemicals, to improve disposal of solid waste, and to improve new and renovated buildings in keeping with reduced energy needs. The subsequent Executive Order 13514, October 5, 2009 (Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance), added to the above specific deadlines as well as an inventory of absolute greenhouse gas emissions, means of improving water use efficiency, and promotion of pollution prevention and waste reduction techniques with appropriate deadlines.

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