Why Are Broke Local Governments Sending Dues to ICLEI and Pushing Through Agenda 21?


ICLEI is an international organization that exists to promote and expand the UN’s Agenda 21. Proponents of the “sustainability” movement call anyone who opposes it “conspiracy theorists.” Regardless of whether or not you believe this is a plot to take away property rights, force us all into urban living areas, or spread the wealth around, there is still reason to oppose it.

ICLEI currently boasts about 600 US members including cities, towns, and counties. Members pay dues based on population, but it isn’t easy finding out how much the dues cost. Where I live, my town and county are both members, so the taxpayers here are hit twice. Westchester County, NY recently dropped its membership because it cost the county $20,000 per year.

County Executive Rob Astorino made the decision shortly after taking office to terminate Westchester’s membership in ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability which came to an end effective December 31, 2011. Membership dues for Westchester County amounted to $20,000 annually.

“When we came into office we reviewed all of the associations to which the County belonged,” said Ned McCormack, chief spokesman for Astorino. “We determined that ICLEI was not an essential service and we dropped the membership”.

But it isn’t just dues that the taxpayers are on the hook for. There’s also the cost of implementing the agenda.

The first thing to do after ICLEI is joined they must set up a bureaucracy (“identify key staff liaisons, elected officials, media and staff liaisons”), make a commitment to fight for so-called climate change (“pass a resolution within six months, stating the County will go forward and prioritizing climate mitigation as one of their goals and how they will go forward with climate mitigation policies”) AND “work on a set of milestones.”  Milestones to do what?  Accomplish the goals of sustainability – carbon and energy usage restrictions for example.  This sounds like a mandate for major change.

The Budget Specialist (who sounds like a wonderful, honest public servant) also admitted there are hidden costs to ICLEI membership!  (“She reported the city of Eugene has joined ICLEI and they have done the Community Climate Action Plan that has cost $100,000 plus $20,000 they paid to a consultant to help them carry this forward.  She added city of Eugene has set aside another $200,000 to make this plan happen.  She stated there are additional costs in addition to the dues.”)

Local governments all over the country are going bankrupt, yet they’re still paying dues to ICLEI and spending on everything that goes along with membership. It’s complete insanity.

As far as what I think about Agenda 21, well call me a conspiracy theorist. But I’d hardly call it a conspiracy theory when we’re getting our material from the groups in question. (From the Westchester, NY piece cited above.)

This is the same logic recently employed in the New Rochelle, NY where the city’s Sustainability Coordinator cited access to the ICLEI GHG Inventory software as a benefit of membership in ICLEI.

Yet, Westchester County and New Rochelle both used the ICLEI GHG Inventory software before joining ICLEI.

ICLEI has been reeling from defections over the past three years, in part as a function of belt-tightening measures in a down economy but largely due to a nationwide backlash against what many critics see as an attempt by the United Nations and its “UN System” of Agencies and UN-certified NGOs to influence local land-use laws to limit development of unimproved property and shift the population away from low-density residential areas into high-density urban areas. Critics have raised concerns about many other aspects of the Agenda 21 plan which many see as an attempt to advance controversial policies such as zero-population growth, large scale wealth and technology transfers from developed to underdeveloped countries and limits on consumption and production in developed countries.

For its part, ICLEI has sought to dispel what it labels “conspiracy theories circulated about ICLEI and Agenda 21”. Yet, in a recently published FAQ on its web site, ICLEI describes its role as part of the UN system to advance Agenda 21 in the same terms used by critics.

FAQ: ICLEI, the United Nations, and Agenda 21

  • ICLEI is one of many NGOs recognized by the U.N. to provide input into these processes.
  • ICLEI is the “Local Authority Major Group Co-Organizing Partner” for Rio+20 and the “Local Government and Municipal Authority Focal Point” for UNFCCC climate change negotiations.
  • ICLEI acts as a bridge between local governments and UN processes.

In describing its role in authoring Chapter 28 of Agenda 21, known as “Local Agenda 21” ILCEI says it “served the role of technical representative for a range of local government organizations, including the International Union of Local Authorities, the United Towns Organization, Metropolis, and others. ICLEI took input from these organizations regarding their key positions in areas pertinent to local government, such as urban development, water resources, and waste management, and presented these positions to UN representatives and national government representatives, who included them into the final text.”

For more on Agenda 21 and ICLEI see Canada Free Press, The Blaze, Democrats Against Agenda 21 and American Thinker. You can also find out if your city, town or county is a member of ICLEI at the ICLEI USA site. A list of ICLEI USA’s funders can be found here. The State Department, EPA and US Green Building Council are on the list, so we’re all paying for this with our federal tax dollars.

Update: Linked by One Piece at a Time – thanks!