Agenda 21 Earth Summit

“The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)…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 Organisation of United Cities and Local Governments.”

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Founding Charter


Created at the 1992 “Rio Earth Summit” in Brazil, the United Nations “Agenda 21” program established a framework for implementing global “sustainable development.” President George H.W. Bush and 177 other world leaders, who signed the initial agreement pledged to adopt the goals of Agenda 21. The name reportedly means an agenda for the 21st Century. “Sustainable development” refers to broadening environmental protectionism to integrate economic, social and environmental policies for the purpose of achieving reduced consumption, social justice, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity – an amorphous measure of the condition of earth’s ecosystems as a function of alleged climate change. The Rio agreement established an International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (“ICLEI”) under the UN that would make agreements directly with local governments.

Earth Day, March 21, 1970, a progeny of the radical leftist student anti-war movement of the 1960s decade, sanctioned by a UN proclamation and becoming a part of its annual observation, is the precursor to Agenda 21 and all subsequent Earth Summits.

Since 1992, these summits have reaffirmed and expanded the principles of Agenda 21. Bill Clinton signed Executive Orders furthering Agenda 21, and on June 9, 2011, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13575, Establishment of the White House Rural Council. Bypassing congressional approval, he committed thousands of federal employees across 25 different federal agencies to promote sustainability in rural areas. In exchange for implementing Agenda 21-style programs, federal agencies will award local communities millions of taxpayer dollars in grants.

Congress has never debated nor voted on adopting Agenda 21, yet Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H.W. Bush have all signed Executive Orders incrementally implementing portions of it. Since Agenda 21 was never officially approved by Congress, it has avoided significant public scrutiny, and, therefore, the requisite awareness and attention necessary for the general public to fully understand and comprehend the ramifications of such a major presidential policy position.

The UN’s ICLEI is designed to bypass national governments and enter into Agenda 21 agreements directly with local governments. ICLEI has executed agreements with over 600 cities, towns and counties in the U.S., involving hundreds of mayors, county administrators and city planners, requiring them to follow the land use plans prescribed in Agenda 21.

The stated environmental-related goals of Agenda 21 include combating pollution, atmospheric protection, protecting fragile environments, and conserving biological diversity. Broader goals include combating poverty, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, and reducing private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership, and privately owned farms.

Certain activities by man are designated as “unsustainable” and targeted for gradual elimination. They include owning private property, irrigation, pesticides, commercial fertilizer, livestock production, most meat consumption, privately owned vehicles, fossil fuels for power, single family homes, and most forms of mineral extraction and timber harvesting.

The U.S. Congress, unwittingly or not, has implemented the UN’s Agenda 21 program through federal legislation using alternative names. This legislation includes The Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, The Endangered Species Act and Species Reintroduction, The National Grasslands Act, The Wildlands Project, The North American Bio-Diversity Treaty, and numerous Wilderness bills. The Yucatan to Yukon Initiative was later changed to “Yellowstone to Yukon” due to public outrage over the environmentalist movement’s subversion of U.S. authority.

The “transformation” promised by President-elect Barack Obama, with cooperative implementation between the White House and Congress, over the first two years of his administration, has filtered into all levels of government via costly local, state and federal public-private-partnerships (P3s) by way of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, commonly known as the Stimulus Act. The P3 facilitation of loans and grants largely has included, but has not been limited to, the Departments of Interior, Energy and Transportation.

In the United States, much of Agenda 21 is implemented through government agreements with so-called Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), which are frequently left-leaning environmental organizations like The Sierra Club. These P3s have come under increasing scrutiny lately for interfering with the free market and essentially establishing costly government-sanctioned corporate monopolies.

Agenda 21 proponents have been instructed to use disguised language when referencing Agenda 21, so as not to make it recognizable to the public. J. Gary Lawrence, advisor to President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development, has stated that any references to the UN should be avoided. Instead, Agenda 21 should be described using terminology like Smart Growth, STAR Sustainable Communities, green jobs, green building codes, “going green,” alternative energy, regional planning, conservation easements, sustainable farming, and growth management.

Fully implementing Agenda 21 will have a crippling economic effect on the U.S. Its wide-reaching array of restrictions will place enormous costs on our nation’s infrastructure. Since the U.S. uses more energy than any other country, severe restrictions on the use of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – will be very costly in terms of job creation and economic growth. The debate will always be about energy density, and the kinds of economies – low-wage services, or high-wage manufacturing – that can be supported by diffuse or dense fuels, respectively. Struggling third world countries that cannot financially afford to comply with the UN’s global environmental regulations will nonetheless continue their high levels of fossil fuel consumption, while UN regulators will continue to require the U.S. to conserve even more to make up for them. For the globalists, it becomes a zero-sum game, with Americans paying a very high price.

The UN’s Agenda 21 seeks to eliminate automobiles, promote public transit, cram people into small livable areas, and institute population control. Its plans for “social justice” will redistribute wealth and pick losers and winners. The goals of Agenda 21 align with the far left’s goals of increasing government control and restricting freedom and the free market. Left wing billionaire George Soros’s Open Society has provided $2,147,415 to ICLEI. Van Jones’ Green for All and the Tides Foundations’ Apollo Alliance are also reportedly ICLEI contributors.

Some localities have become aware of how overreaching Agenda 21 is and are pulling out of their ICLEI agreements with the UN. Carroll County in Maryland, Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, the city of Edmond, Oklahoma, Albemarle County and James City County in Virginia, Spartanburg County in South Carolina, and Amador County in California, have all withdrawn their participation.

The UN’s Agenda 21 uses the environment and their concept of sustainable development to exercise control over America’s natural resources. The European view of Agenda 21 is to have all nations reposition their economies and their societies for the collective purpose, a path pursued in the United States by President Barack Obama and his administration. Agenda 21 promotes European-style socialist goals that are contrary to the freedoms and liberties provided by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, with its Bill of Rights. The Agenda 21 goals infringe on America’s basic principles of freedom, limited government and national sovereignty.


  1. Withdraw U.S. from Agenda 21: The President shall announce U.S. withdrawal from the UN’s Agenda 21 program, reversing President George H.W. Bush’s approval of the 1992 “Rio Earth Summit” agreement.
  2. Rescind Agenda 21 Executive Orders: The President shall rescind all Agenda 21- related Executive Orders, including the creation of the White House Rural Council (EO 13575-2011) signed by President Obama in 2011, the National Invasive Species Council (EO 13112) and the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, each signed by President Clinton in 1999 and 1995, respectively.
  3. Delink Federally from Agenda 21: All agreements between the UN’s ICLEI and federal government agencies and departments, including but not limited to the Departments of State, Interior, Energy and Transportation shall be terminated.
  4. Delink Locally from Agenda 21: Local governments, including county, school boards, water, fire and other local boards shall formally withdraw from any and all UN Agenda 21 agreements and eliminate ICLEI membership fees from their budgets.
  5. Repeal the Stimulus Act: Congress shall repeal the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
  6. Abolish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): In abolishing the EPA, Congress shall undertake a top-to-bottom review of the cumulative impact of the layers of rulemakings and enforcement actions made by the agency starting with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the authority that created the EPA.



Recommended Reading

Opposing Views