Many decisions made by the General Assembly affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our communities, the sustainability of our economy, the protection of our open spaces, and our quality of life. The Common Agenda helps let legislators know clearly where our top priorities lie, and that these issues are particularly important to the citizens we serve.
Environmental advocates have had significant successes in improving North Carolina’s environmental laws, and North Carolina is often a leader on environmental issues in the southeast. Most recently:
- We’ve cleaned up our coal-fired power plants with the Clean Smokestacks Act of 2000
- We were the first state in the southeast to pass a Renewable Portfolio Standard, calling for the utilities to achieve 12.5% of electrical generation through renewables and efficiency by 2021
- We’ve set strong solid waste management legislation, and continue to improve electronic waste management strategies
- We’ve made significant investments in protecting our land resources through our natural resource trust funds.
However, we are still consistently outspent by our well-resourced opposition, the “pollution-lobby.”
The NC Common Agenda: Priorities for the Environment represents a collaborative effort by a number of environmental groups in North Carolina who have chosen to pool their collective energies behind strategically selected priorities. The NC Common Agenda will help our leaders maintain North Carolina’s rich abundance of natural resources and protect our beautiful state for generations to come. It will also help the environmental community to continue to win significant victories in the NC General Assembly, but more importantly, will position us to work with North Carolina decision-makers to set a pro-active environmental agenda.
The Common Agenda is supported by a growing alliance of environmental organizations across the state. 2012 marks the sixth year that participating groups have set forth a shared list of priorities. While the Common Agenda represents a set of shared priorities, it by no means represents a complete picture of all environmental efforts by all groups: there will always be other critical environmental issues being considered by the General Assembly represented by these and other environmental organizations.