May 18, 2012
While they were in Washington DC last month, the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize winners met with Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. This is the third time Ms. Sutley has met with Goldman Prize recipients; this time they met in the Roosevelt Room, which features portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.
They were also joined by Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, who encouraged the Prize recipients to take every opportunity to tell their stories. “Nobody takes action until they’ve been inspired. That is the driver of change,” he said.
When asked about the President’s plans to attend the Rio Earth Summit, Ms. Sutley indicated that while the President hadn’t made any decisions, there is a larger need to look at the commitment that individual nations will make. “Sustainable development will come from the contributions of the individual nations themselves,” she said. “We need to have countries take responsibility for their emissions.”
Ending the meeting on a hopeful note, she added, “The same law that created my office, the CEQ, also required that there be transparency about environmental impacts. The US can be a model of how you can develop, have a high standard of living, and grow and prosper, and have strong environmental regulations.”