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CalGreen Board Launches new "UN2020" Campaign

July 25, 2019

The campaign advocates for a new S.F. regional office, greater collaboration with the State of California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With its mission to advance systems thinking and the Triple Bottom Line, the California Green Academy’s (“CalGreen”), Board of Directors (“Board”) has launched the multi-year campaign, “UN2020.”  The new initiative celebrates the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, calling for a fourth official UN regional office and informational centre within San Franciscobirthplace of the UN, as well as, greater cooperation with the State.

While the UN is headquartered in New York, it also has regional offices, located in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna, as well as, 59 information centres worldwide, with only nine in the Pacific Rim–Canberra (AUS), Jakarta, Manilla, Tokyo, Panama City, Mexico City, Bogotá, Lima, and La Paz, despite this region being home to nearly 40% of the global population.  A fourth regional office would serve this growing region, with major aviation and maritime access.

“Prior to John D. Rockefeller and the City of New York donating the current property, it was widely believed San Francisco would be the natural UN headquarters.  Although this did not occur, an official regional office and information centre in the UN’s birthplace, and serving the increasingly influential Pacific Rim, is long overdue, especially with the American public’s record support for the UN.  As well, an official regional office could serve as the impetus for the transformation of San Francisco’s southeast waterfront, especially with property in Hunter’s Point or Bayview, taking advantage of the cosmopolitan Bay,” stated Greg Justice, Chief Sustainability Officer.

In addition to a new regional office, UN2020 advocates for a new office or bureau, coordinating the State of California’s actions for the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs,” pictured above); therefore, CalGreen proposes an “Office for the Sustainable Development Goals” (“OSDG”).  As this office would oversee statewide SDG planning and integration, it makes sense that OSDG would be within the existing Office of Planning and Researchalready overseeing the statewide collection of development plans, in addition to, disseminating planning guidelines and California Environmental Quality Act best practices.

Legislative oversight could also come from the current Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies, co-chaired by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (Downey) and Senator Henry Stern (Calabasas).

“California has always been ahead of the curve, regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation policies; however, as of now, there is no centralized entity overseeing official action with the SDGs– whether at local, county, or regional levels, as well as, providing best practices and, most importantly, investment and financing for multisector SDG implementation,” stated Robert Brodie, Board Treasurer.

UN2020 will be a long-term campaign, with most of its efforts leading to the UN’s 75th anniversary celebrations (26 June–24 October 2020).  Further campaign information can be found online, or by emailing un2020@calgreenacademy.org, as well as, other materials for CalGreen’s current SDGs campaign.

 A PDF of this release can be downloaded here.

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