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Various environmental problems, such as global warming, ozone-layer depletion, and air and ocean pollution, are known to be having a negative impact on the global environment. It is citizens, who promote "environment-friendly lifestyles," and local authorities with their close connection to the community, that can play a significant role in this improvement.
With these factors in mind, the formation of the 20% Club for Sustainable Cities (abbreviated name: the 20% Club) was proposed at the World Conference on Local Initiatives for Sustainable Cities in November 1995 (Sponsored by the Environment Agency, Kanagawa Prefectural Government, and local authorities of Kanagawa Prefecture).
Based on this proposal, the 20% Club was inaugurated in January 1997 at the International Workshop on Local Initiatives for Sustainable Cities.
The 20% Club is the international network of local authorities which tackles the issues of environmental conservation by setting numerical targets. It aims to contribute to environmental improvements on a global level by providing the mutual exchanges of information, skills, and experience among the member local authorities.
Setting numerical targets, such as "20% reduction of waste volume" or "20% increase in green areas" within approximately five years, is believed to be an effective method for reducing environmental burdens and increasing environmental improvements.
The name of the club represents such an expectation.
Services to Members
A newsletter will be circulated to members twice a year to provide information on the structures of the member authorities and the progress of their activities. Also, reports on advanced case studies will be compiled and distributed twice a year. Furthermore, the 20% Club Internet website will feature the activities of the club and provide updated links to the home pages of the member local authorities.
Applying for Membership
- Membership can be obtained by filing out the necessary details on the application form and submitting it to the club secretariat.
- No membership fees are required for the time being.
Membership Benefits and Responsibilities
- Various member services shall be provided.
- Extensive information shall be disseminated on members' efforts to improve the environment and tackle environmental issues.
- Networks shall be expanded to include other local authorities around the world.
- Progress reports on efforts to obtain set goals shall be submitted to the secretariat annually.
Possible Target Measures
The following are some examples of targets which have been attempted by the 20% Club members:
- Recycling over 20% of waste
- Reducing CO2 emissions from the municipal office activities by at least 5%
- Increasing the ratio of low-pollution vehicles among public service vehicles by 20%
- Reducing the overall volume of waste by 7%
- Reducing BOD by 20%
- Increasing the ratio of green areas in public facilities by 20%
Setting targets like "20%" or "five years" is only symbolic, and members shall determine their own numerical targets upon consideration of their respective situations.
No penalties will be imposed if goals have not been fully achieved. Rather, it is the intention of the 20% Club to let the members cooperate to enhance their expertise, and overcome their difficulties.
The 20% Club for Sustainable Cities