Budgetary Policies for Environmental Improvement
Edited by J. Peter Clinch, Kai Schlegelmilch, Rolf-Ulrich Sprenger and Ursula Triebswetter
Chapter 3: Promoting green budget reforms in the USA: the experience of Friends of the Earth
Clinch 01 chaps 15/11/01 1:30 pm Page 45 3. Promoting green budget reforms in the USA: the experience of Friends of the Earth Gawain Kripke INTRODUCTION This chapter describes recent research and advocacy efforts in the area of ‘green budgets’ by Friends of the Earth, USA. Information from several Friends of the Earth publications is included, with descriptions of the organization’s advocacy efforts. In addition, a discussion of the political constraints and opportunities is presented, with an evaluation of the success of Friends of the Earth’s efforts. Friends of the Earth, USA is a national non-governmental organization primarily concerned with advocacy and policy development on environmental issues in the United States. It was founded in 1969 and has a tradition of promoting ‘cutting-edge’ environmental policies that integrate environmental concerns with society, economic, and political considerations. Friends of the Earth, USA is member of the Friends of the Earth International network with affiliates in 58 countries. In the last decade Friends of the Earth has increasingly focused its policy program on reforming government spending and budget policies to incorporate environmental concerns. In 1997, approximately one-quarter of its $2 million (US$) budget was dedicated to green budget activities, making green budget reform one of the highest priorities for the organization. The focus started small. In 1990, the organization hired a single staff person to analyze US federal spending and conduct advocacy campaigns to increase spending on environmental programs. In 1991, it created a companion project – the Green Tax Reform Project – to...
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