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Here is a link to an extraordinary letter from Pete Kremen, the County Executive of Whatcom County, Washington.  (Whatcom is not a misprint nor is it a parody!  Thanks to Paul Murphy for this item.)  It is filled with misinformation about ICLEI.  Let’s set the record straight:

Whatcom County is a member of ICLEI USA,which is a separate non-profitorganizationfrom ICLEI Global.  Here are the different mission statements according to their websites:
“ICLEI USA: /ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) is a membership association of local governments committed to advancing climate protection and sustainabledevelopment. At ICLEI USA our mission is to build, serve, and drive a movement of localgovernments to advance deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve tangible improvements in local sustainability.”
“ICLEI GLOBAL: /ICLEI is an international association of local governments as well as national andregional local government organizationswho have made a commitment to sustainable development.  ICLEI’s mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments toachieve tangible improvements in global sustainability with special focus on environmental conditions through cumulative local actions.  ICLEI’s general mandate is to build an active and committed municipal membership of local spheres of government (local and regional governments and authorities) as well as international, regional, national and sub-national local government associations.”
Let’s go the ICLEI Global website for the answer for this:

ICLEI USA is part of an international organization that operates 13 offices on 7 continents. The ICLEI global network works on clean energy, climate protection, biodiversity, sustainable procurement and water issues.

ICLEI’s work is carried out through non-profit affiliate organizations nationally incorporated in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, India, Mexico, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa and Korea. ICLEI also conducts project activities through our regional offices in P.R. China and Indonesia.

Local governments and their associations constitute ICLEI’s global membership. As a democratic, membership-driven association, every member has a vote at council meetings where the priorities and direction of the organization are determined. Governed by the ICLEI global charter put in place by its founding members, our mandate is to build an active and committed membership of local governments and their associations.

(Emphasis mine!)

ICLEI USA is in effect a national subsidiary of the global corporation ICLEI.  When you join ICLEI USA, you join ICLEI global.  You also violate the Constitution which prohibits confederations among state and/or local governments.
There is more from the Whatcom County Executive:
ICLEI USA is not a United Nations agency or controlled by the U.N. in any way.  It is an independent nonprofit association.
This is technically true but the effect of what ICLEI does makes it misleading.  See the ICLEI Charter 1:2:

The Association shall maintain its formal institutional relationships with its founder patrons, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), the latter from 1 January 2004 merged into the newly established World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments. (Section 1:2 ICLEI Charter)

What would you call an organization founded by a UN agency and a global confederation of local governments?  It quacks like a UN duck to me.  ICLEI also seeks to be the agent on sustainability and environmental issues of UCLG. ICLEI’s mission is to:

The Association’s mission shall be to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global sustainability with special focus on environmental conditions through cumulative local actions (emphasis mine – ICLEI Charter 1:2).

See the ICLEI Charter 1:6:

The Association shall serve as an international representative for its members and campaign participants by providing advocacy before national and international governments, agencies and organizations and multilateral bodies to increase their understanding and support for local sustainable development and environmental protection activities.  (Emphasis mine)

Is this what Whatcom County residents want?  (No pun intended)  Either the County Executive, Mr. Pete Kremen is deceived or he is misleading the citizens of his county.  It is fair to ask him and the elected officials of the county which one it is.  The citizens of Whatcom County deserve better.  They ought to get out of ICLEI.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. The people that make money from global warming are not going to give up their golden goose easily.

  2. WE Editors says:

    How ever did you find out about Bellingham, Whatcom County, and the blind devotion of local politicians?

    Thanks for this great post – amazing…


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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