Green Prosperity Initiative

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we will face in this century. The environmental consequences of rising concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases do not pose one-dimensional threats like some of the environmental challenges we have faced in the past. The challenge of climate change is multi-faceted and global, and there is growing acknowledgement that addressing climate change requires trade offs.

Many assume that in order to win on climate issues, we must relax economic concerns. We dispute this assumption. In the past, organizations fighting for environmental protection were pitted against industries that created jobs. Today, addressing climate change requires the simultaneous leveraging of the social sector, the private marketplace, and public policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Fourth Sector Strategies is partnering with Sierra Business Council, an organization that has demonstrated for over 15 years that environmental quality and economic vitality are not competing principles. The Green Prosperity Initiative is an effort to demonstrate that climate change is not only an environmental imperative; it also presents extraordinary opportunity for rethinking economic development.

The Green Prosperity Initiative seeks to build a multi-stakeholder network to reduce greenhouse gases while producing valuable regional economic outcomes across three areas: savings, opportunity, and talent. 

  • Energy Efficiency saves money that can be reinvested in the local economy to create additional jobs and support local businesses
  • Entrepreneurs view obstacles as opportunities, and innovation turns opportunities into prosperity
  • To capture savings and opportunity we need to build talent--  trained and inspired workforce that can implement the vision of green prosperity
Is the Green Prosperity Initiative goal cost-effective?

Our vision is of a California where investments in energy efficiency are just that—investments. Green Prosperity is not a sinkhole that needs one grant after another without ever achieving any measurable success. Green Prosperity is a transformative initiative that builds the tools and equipment to harness the ingenuity, inspiration, and innovation that will move the Sierra Nevada region away from regulations and incentives for energy efficiency to a widespread baseline commitment to energy efficiency that lays the foundation for advanced economic and environmental innovation.

As a regional multi-sectoral program, the Green Prosperity Initiative approaches climate and economic solutions through four intersecting areas, including sustainable tourism, forest carbon sequestration, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. We are partnering with a variety of state and national partners and funders on different components of the Green Prosperity Initiative. The program is primarily funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Company as an Innovator Pilot program. Our overarching regional Green Prosperity concept is part of the California Stewardship Exchange, coordinated by Collaborative Economics and funded by the Morgan Family Foundation. 

Local media coverage: http://www.theunion.com/article/20110304/NEWS/110309853

Learn more at http://www.sbcouncil.org/Projects/slienergyclimate