Sustainability occurs at the community level and the international level all at once. Countries and individuals share what works. Twenty-years of cooperation between Taiwan and the United States bore fruit in 2009 with Taiwan’s Low Carbon and Sustainable Homeland program, modeled after Sustainable Jersey. The two programs, which seek to generate participation at the municipal and community level, were the major topic at the Woodrow Wilson Center Event, From Sustainable Communities to Global Pollution Challenges: Twenty Years of U.S.-Taiwan Environmental Cooperation. Low Carbon and Sustainable Homeland is as much a bottom-up as a top-down approach, through voluntary measures induced by incentives as well as publicity. In 2011, 52 demonstration communities joined in, and in 2014 six low-carbon demonstration cities will be participating. By 2020, said Minister Stephen Shu-hung Shen of the Environmental Protection Agency of Taiwan, the long race between communities will be fully underway, and he “hopes all townships and cities will be lined up to run.” The marathon toward sustainability, then, is still in the formative stages. Two often-overlooked places are leading the way: New Jersey and Taiwan.
Via Steven McGreevy