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.ECO MISSION, PRINCIPLES & POLICY
The organization that regulates the internet namespace, ICANN, will soon accept applications for new web addresses known as top-level domains. Dot Eco LLC – a California-based initiative backed by Al Gore and The Alliance for Climate Protection, The Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation – is applying for the new top-level domain .ECO.
This paper addresses the underlying goals and principles of our .ECO top-level domain application – with the underlying goal to raise the greatest amount of money for organizations that can make a real difference in climate change by driving global policy solutions. Given the critical problems facing our environment, efforts that promote ideas that do not drive real solutions serve only to distract attention and resources away from solving the pressing problems that confront us.
Mission of .ECO
Our goal is to make .ECO a ubiquitous and recognizable web address, much like .ORG, that provides a steady and growing source of funding for leading environmental organizations.
Founding Principles of .ECO
Before registering a .ECO web address, individuals and businesses must affirm that they support the basic founding principles of the .ECO community. By accepting the following principles, all individuals, organizations and corporations that use a .ECO address will be declaring their commitment to protecting and defending the planet:
1. The most important function of .ECO, by far, is to provide funding to protect the environment.
The economic crisis is having a devastating effect on not-for-profit organizations in general, and environmental organizations have not been spared. The situation is critical, as the next ten years will be decisive in the fight against climate change. The primary goal of .ECO is to generate significant funding for the environmental movement, specifically to promote awareness and policies to fight the deterioration of our climate. By charter and design, more than 50% of .ECO profits must go toward environmental causes. In practice, more than 57% is already committed to specific organizations, and this number is expected to increase. We estimate that within a few years of launch, .ECO will be making an annual contribution of millions of dollars to environmental organizations that can make a difference.
2. We are responsible for climate change and we have a responsibility to fix it.
We take it as fact, backed by conclusive science, that a significant part of climate change is due to human activities. Consequently, we embrace our obligation to correct course in order to protect and preserve the planet’s health and resources for future generations.
3. Threats to our environment are global and time-critical.
We recognize that the causes and effects of the climate crisis are worldwide and that comprehensive solutions are required. We believe that the developed world has a responsibility to bear the largest share of the burden and must urgently undertake a leadership role in providing resources to develop and implement sustainable change. The consequences of delay and inaction will be devastating.
4. Climate change can be corrected.
We know which human activities contribute to climate change, and therefore we know which of them need to be altered to produce a desired result. There is hope, and there are solutions. Clean energy technology is progressing rapidly and awareness is growing. The understanding, the will and the means to address climate change are ready to be mobilized. Now is the time for action.
5. All positive efforts to solve the problem are welcome.
Crisis will not be solved with a narrow approach, but rather with a broad array of ideas, initiatives and action. The primary goal of .ECO is to provide funding to the established, proven organizations on the front lines of this critical work – with a commitment to supporting individuals and promising research as well. All positive approaches are welcome and encouraged.
6. Lifestyle changes are important, but real legislative and policy changes are far more crucial for achieving lasting solutions.
A groundswell of committed citizens can make a difference in the battle against climate change, but volunteerism alone is simply insufficient given the critical nature of the problem. Resistance to environmental efforts – whether for social, economic or political reasons – presents a formidable obstacle to real and effective change. In many cases, new legislative mandates and policy changes are the only effective solutions. Dot Eco LLC can most effectively contribute to this fight to save our environment and address the climate crisis by massively supporting climate organizations that have the profile, credibility and infrastructure to influence public opinion and thus public policy. This critical work is expensive – and financing from Dot Eco LLC will help make it happen.
7. The environmental movement is fortunate to have committed and effective leaders such as the Alliance for Climate Protection, The Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation, as well as prominent individuals such as Al Gore. We defer to these experts regarding how best to use funds generated from the .ECO top-level domain.
The Alliance for Climate Protection, The Sierra Club and Surfrider have proven they can effect real change. The Alliance for Climate Protection alone comprises more than two million members, while the Sierra Club has more than one million active members, and is the oldest active environmental group in the world.
These organizations signed on as .ECO partners after rigorously vetting our effort. We will therefore defer to them and to our Advisory Board of recognized scientists and environmental leaders as to how best to deploy the profits from .ECO.
We recognize there are separate efforts underway to secure the .ECO and .GREEN top-level domains, and take for granted these initiatives are run by well-meaning people with good intentions. But these efforts have little chance of bringing about the major legislative and policy solutions required to make changes on a massive scale. Our planet’s peril is too great to allow us to be sidetracked by unproven, ineffective or experimental efforts.
Saving the planet requires policy change, science and funding. It does not require unscientific efforts to label things as green or not, or non-substantive efforts to feel good about lifestyle changes. The Sierra Club, Al Gore, the Alliance for Climate Protection and Surfrider Foundation have proven they are effective agents of change — and they are backing Dot Eco LLC.
8. A sound business, with proven management, is critical to raising funds and awareness, and to promote positive change in environmental habits, practices and laws.
To be successful, .ECO needs to be operated as a sound business that is run by competent and professional management with a proven ability to attract investment, execute the business plan and return a majority of the proceeds to the cause of reversing environmental degradation.
This combination of business acumen and activism made the movie An Inconvenient Truth a success at the box office and a major force for stimulating awareness of global warming.
The success of a .ECO top-level domain name is by no means automatic. Even small barriers to entry have proven disruptive to widespread use of top-level domains. Many European country-code top-level domains (for instance France/.fr, Spain/.es) experienced unnecessarily depressed registration volume compared to their neighbors (Switzerland/.ch, Germany/.de) because they used a confusing and bureaucratic registration process. In addition, there are already plenty of top-level domains where people and organizations can create eco-specific websites.
Making .ECO a success, therefore, will require effective marketing and outreach, user-friendly registration policies and the endorsement and support of the large environmental organizations already behind us. We are committed to operating .ECO as a tight, customer-focused, well-run business in order to use our revenues to help the environment — instead of wasting them on administrative overhead.
Dot Eco will be powered by world class DNS in more than 40 geographically diverse locations globally. When people navigate to a .ECO domain, they will reach their destination website promptly and without issue. Dot Eco is funding an initiative to offset the carbon and energy used for the DNS infrastructure that it will use. The plan and objective is that Dot Eco is energy and carbon neutral in its operation, and we’re working now to make this a reality.
.ECO Registration Policies
The .ECO top-level domain, managed judiciously and effectively, will be a powerful ally in the effort to protect our environment.
In order to generate a maximum amount of funds for the ecological movement, we must make it as easy as possible for a new registrant to create a .ECO domain. However, there will be ground rules regarding who can register a .ECO address – and needless to say, “greenwashing” will be strictly prohibited.
We believe it would be a serious mistake to limit or standardize such sites according to an arbitrary structure with self-reported data. Likewise, pre-screening individual .ECO applicants, is expensive and time-consuming and leads to user dissatisfaction, higher costs and a reduced number of proper registrations.
Individual registrants will sign off on a set of clear terms and conditions for the use of a .ECO web address. All .ECO registrants will be required to agree to our Founding Principles, listed above.
To identify violations of these tenets, .ECO will rely on community policing along with our own monitoring. This combination of proprietary monitoring techniques, crowd sourcing and flagging have been proven effective ways to control inappropriate online content on social networking and other sites. Making it easy for users to alert the .ECO registry to a violation of terms and conditions is a far more practical and less arbitrary policing mechanism than a cumbersome pre-registration command and control authority that will severely reduce the influence, revenues and impact of the .ECO top-level domain.
We will welcome and encourage innovative website content within the .ECO community and content of .ECO sites as long as companies or individuals do not violate the clear ground rules for the use of a .ECO domain.
We (the undersigned) confirm our enthusiastic support for the principles, initiatives and goals expressed in the founding principles of Dot Eco LLC and shared by the organizations and individuals who have partnered with us and have offered their exclusive support to Dot Eco LLC. We believe in the positive motivating principles behind the Dot Eco initiative, and we unequivocally support their enforcement. We are confident the Dot Eco initiative will be a positive, powerful and generous ally to its partner organizations. And we believe the expertise, the goals and the values of Dot Eco LLC represent the best possible use and approach for the .ECO top-level domain, and will result in the greatest good for the environment, the environmental community and the world.
Frederick R. Krueger, Co-Founder and President
Minor Childers, Co-Founder
Clark Landry, Co-Founder
Dot Eco LLC supports and will provide significant funding for the following organizations to fight global warming and to preserve our environment:
I. THE ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION
The Alliance for Climate Protection is a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore.
Our mission is to persuade the American people—and people elsewhere in the world—of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis.
The Alliance for Climate Protection is undertaking an unprecedented mass persuasion exercise based on scientific facts. Through a new combination of non–partisan alliances with Americans from all walks of life and innovative and far–reaching communication techniques the Alliance will focus on presenting the facts about climate change and its solutions to the general public in an accurate, clear and compelling manner.
Americans have always risen to meet the most important challenges to our nation’s and the world’s future. Together, we can address the climate challenge domestically and provide a robust economy for now and for our children.
The Alliance will persuade people of the importance, urgency and feasibility of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis.
We established the Alliance for Climate Protection as a new single-purpose organization to persuade people of the importance, urgency and feasibility of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis. Our efforts will include:
- Moving the USA past a ‘tipping point’, beyond which the majority of leaders in both major political parties and all sectors of civil society compete to offer genuinely effective proposals, policies, programs and laws that will sharply reduce emissions of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gas pollutants.
- Creating a critical mass of public opinion in support of active US participation in the international effort to enact a genuinely effective new treaty to reduce global greenhouse gas pollution.
- Generating overwhelming support—within the US and around the globe—for new American leadership in the international efforts to solve the climate crisis.
- Persuading individuals, families, communities, states, corporations and other organizations to begin to quickly and meaningfully reduce their own global warming pollution—and to offset the remainder—in order to become “carbon neutral.”
- Not interested in institutional longevity for its own sake, we expect that once these objectives have been met, other established organizations can carry on the work as necessary and that the Alliance will no longer need to exist as a stand–alone entity.
Building an Alliance
The Alliance is committed to working collaboratively with an extensive cross-section of groups to advance our shared objectives. We will build alliances with Americans from all walks of life.
The environmental community has been a key force behind the establishment of such a singularly–focused organization, with leading organizations pledging to work collaboratively to support our goals.
Importantly, other groups outside the environmental movement have also played key roles. The Alliance is committed to working collaboratively with an extensive cross-section of groups to advance our shared objectives.
Repower America is the bold clean energy plan to “repower” our country with 100% clean electricity within 10 years.
First described in a speech last July by Al Gore, Repower America means new industries with high-paying jobs. It means lower energy costs. And, it means substituting clean domestic sources of energy and a transition away from dirty coal and foreign oil. Read about the goal here.
By making buildings and homes more efficient, ramping up renewable energy generation, constructing a unified national smart grid, and transitioning to clean and affordable plug-in cars, we can address our country’s economic and national security challenges—all while making huge strides to solve the climate crisis.
Please join with Al Gore and more than two million others calling on our leaders to Repower America with 100% clean electricity within 10 years.
We are 2,313,712 people determined to solve the climate crisis and repower America with 100% clean electricity within 10 years.
The We Campaign is a project of The Alliance for Climate Protection — a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort founded by Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore. The goal of the Alliance is to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis — in part through repowering America with 100 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources within 10 years. Our economy, national security, and climate can’t afford to wait.
The Reality Campaign
In reality, there is no such thing as “clean” coal in America today. Coal cannot be called ‘clean’ until its CO2 emissions are captured and stored safely.
Let’s be clear: there are no US homes, factories, shopping centers or churches powered by coal plants that capture and store their global warming pollution.
Today, coal power plants emit carbon dioxide (CO2), the pollutant causing the climate crisis. A third of the America’s carbon pollution now comes from about 600 coal-fired power plants. And of the more than 70 proposed new coal power plants, barely a handful have plans to capture and store their CO2 emissions. If these dirty plants are allowed to be built, this will mean an additional 200 million tons of global warming pollution will be emitted in America each year. Until coal power plants no longer release CO2 to the atmosphere, coal will remain a major contributor to the climate crisis.
Scientists indicate that we can avoid the worst climate impacts if we turn CO2 emissions around in the next few years. The Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, in 2007, said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” For coal to maintain a role in America’s energy mix, the industry must act quickly to stop emitting CO2.
The Reality Coalition is a project of the Alliance for Climate Protection, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters, and tells the truth about coal today — it isn’t clean. We are challenging the coal industry to come clean — in its advertising and in its operations. You can learn more about the reality of “clean” coal here or take action and help stop misleading coal campaigns.
II. THE SIERRA CLUB
Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. We are the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. And our founder, John Muir, appears on the back of the California quarter.
1.3 million members have joined the Sierra Club because they share common goals:
- a safe and healthy community in which to live
- smart energy solutions to combat global warming
- an enduring legacy for America’s wild places
Sierra Club Initiatives
Federal and International Climate Campaign
To avoid climate catastrophe, greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. must peak in the coming decade, decline steadily, and reach a level close to zero by mid-century. In addition to reducing our own emissions, the U.S. should help developing countries cut carbon and protect themselves from the effects of global warming.
The Sierra Club’s Curbing Carbon Initiative is focused on achieving two primary outcomes in the next four years:
- Working with the next Congress and president to pass federal legislation that curbs U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, puts a price on carbon in order to internalize the cost of climate change into markets and policies, and enhances our use of clean energy sources.
- Creating the domestic conditions needed for the U.S. to lead in negotiating and implementing an international climate treaty sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels called for by climate scientists.
Coal provides about half of our electricity and more than 30% of our global warming pollution. From the mine to the plant, coal is our dirtiest energy source. It causes asthma and other health problems, destroys our mountains, and releases toxic mercury into our communities. Continuing our dependence on coal chains us to dirty energy and prevents us from making the changes we need to bring about a clean, secure energy future.
The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign is working hard to:
• Stop the construction of dirty, new coal plants by educating investors and decision-makers about the economic and environmental risks of investing in new coal.
• Retire old plants that are the worst contributors to health-harming soot and smog pollution and replace them with clean energy solutions.
• Work with communities to protect our mountains, lands and waters by keeping our vast coal reserves in the ground.
Clean Energy Solutions: Repower and Rebuild America
Fixing our economy, transforming our energy future, and slowing and ultimately reversing climate change and its consequences will require a clear agenda and aggressive timetable that will allow us to repower and rebuild America.
The Sierra Club is helping to grow a clean energy economy in the U.S. by:
- Repowering America with green, renewable energy: Wind, solar, and other safe, clean sources of power that will energize a new American century.
- Rebuilding America with high-performance homes and buildings: Smarter, greener buildings that eliminate global warming emissions, reduce utility bills, and generate renewable energy.
- Linking it all together with a 21st-century “electranet:” An energy internet that links homes to a smart grid powered by clean energy. The electranet can reduce electricity consumption through a national transmission network that supports large-scale renewable energy and local generation that frees homes and businesses to produce their own energy.
We can build an unprecedented coalition of workers, non-profits and businesses to retrofit our inefficient buildings, construct new low-carbon structures, modernize our energy grid, push for laws requiring energy utilities to provide greater percentages of electricity from renewable sources, and allow companies and consumers to earn money from saving energy or generating clean power.
Green Cars, Fuels, and Transportation for the 21st Century
Transportation contributes approximately one-third of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and must be a prime target for major greenhouse gas reductions.
Global warming emissions from the transportation sector can be reduced by increasing the production and use of clean, highly efficient vehicles powered by sustainable low carbon fuels and electricity, and by better designing communities to include accessible and convenient alternatives to driving. The Sierra Club is working to achieve three primary outcomes in this initiative:
- Clean and efficient vehicles: A fleet-wide new vehicle fuel economy average of at least 42 miles per gallon by 2020 and at least 50 mpg by 2025, through a combination of state and federal standards and a shift to vehicle electrification.
- Lower-carbon fuels: Reduce the carbon content of the fuels used for transportation by 15% below the 2005 level by 2030.
- Expanded transportation choices and increased reliance on transportation alternatives: Reducing vehicle miles traveled per person by increasing public transit use, fostering compact communities with transportation choices (rail, bus, walking, biking), and by cutting the number of car trips taken.
If we want the world’s wildlife and native plants to survive in a changing climate, we must help them adapt by protecting critical habitat and creating corridors that will allow for migration as climate changes and temperatures rise.
The Sierra Club is working to achieve four primary outcomes in this initiative:
- Plan an interconnected continental network of large, protected areas and corridors to serve as “climate adaptation refuges” to ensure optimal survival of species and habitats at risk due to climate change.
- Help establish five to seven major ecosystem resiliency reserves.
- Limit or eliminate non-climate stresses including habitat fragmentation, over-harvesting, invasive species, and disruptive human activities like oil drilling, logging and pollution.
- Where necessary, help species adapt by reintroducing native species, assisting in migration, controlling pests or disease outbreaks, or other tactics.
If we act now, we can still give our grandchildren a world where polar bears, giant sequoias, wild salmon, sea turtles, rainforests and emperor penguins survive.
Protecting nature protects people. Strengthening and restoring natural defense systems such as wetlands, forests, and barrier islands, will reduce the effects of climate change on human beings.
The Sierra Club Safeguarding Communities Initiative will help communities reduce and prepare for the current and coming effects of climate change. This initiative is focused on achieving four primary outcomes:
Help reduce the wildfire hazard to rural communities.
- Protect coastal communities by restoring and protecting coastal wetlands, dunes, and natural vegetation and by relocating human habitations a safe distance inland.
- Protect and restore natural areas that serve as the water source for human communities and natural systems.
- Convert natural hazard zones (floodplains, shorelines, landslide zones, avalanche chutes etc.) into natural areas that are free of human habitations. When extreme weather events occur there will be less property damage and loss of life, and the natural areas will provide valuable habitat for wildlife stressed by climate change.
III. SURFRIDER FOUNDATION
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 60 local chapters in the U.S. The Surfrider Foundation also has affiliations in Australia, Japan, France, and Brazil. The Surfrider Foundation has adopted the following principles to guide and govern the activities of the organization.
1. SURFRIDER recognizes the biodiversity and ecological integrity of the planet’s coasts are necessary and irreplaceable. SURFRIDER is committed to preserving natural living and non-living diversity and ecological integrity of the coastal environment.
2. SURFRIDER promotes the right of low-impact, free and open access to the world’s waves and beaches for all people. SURFRIDER acts to preserve this right of access.
3. SURFRIDER is dedicated to enhancing wave-riding opportunities in ways which will not adversely impact nearshore ecosystems.
4. SURFRIDER believes environmental education is essential to the future health and well being of the planet. SURFRIDER seeks to develop and utilize educational materials that are informative, factual, proactive, synergistic and fun.
5. SURFRIDER strives to be accurate and nonpartisan in its communications with its members and the general public. In addition, SURFRIDER will express the unique values inherent in wave riding — individualism, camaraderie, non-materialism, and an appreciation for human kind’s historic relations with the Ocean.
6. SURFRIDER is a grassroots organization, effective through the participation of its members. SURFRIDER activities emphasize the value of an involved membership.
7. SURFRIDER encourages all commercial enterprises to adopt the Ceres Principles. Their determination to do so will favorably influence SURFRIDER’s willingness to provide support. SURFRIDER will not permit sponsors to divert the Foundation from its mission or projects undertaken.
8. SURFRIDER does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin for any reason. SURFRIDER promotes the healthy enjoyment of the coastal environment for all people.
9. SURFRIDER and its representatives, affiliations and chapters agree to abide by these principles and all rules and regulations governing non-profit organizations.
The Surfrider Foundation is unique within the environmental community.
We are surfers and ocean and beach enthusiasts who share a deep passion for the ocean and coastal environment because we live with and recreate in it on a regular basis. We have translated our love for the ocean into an active stewardship program that includes protection of beach access and surf breaks, preservation and restoration of coastal and ocean environments, and environmental education.
The strength of the Surfrider Foundation lies in our chapter network. It enables us to work as credible, community-based activists for coastal conservation. With our ability to mobilize grass roots action through our chapters, and our focus on the coastal and marine environment, we have won a number of signiﬁcant coastal protection victories. We deﬁne these victories as a decision made in favor of the coastal and ocean environment that results in a positive conservation outcome, improves coastal access, or both.
We have crafted this vision to challenge and inspire our network of volunteers, chapter activists, members, staff and board members. We believe this vision is ambitious, speciﬁc, unifying, inspirational, explanatory, measurable and— most importantly— capable of positively empowering our mission: the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.
We have identiﬁed Seven Strategic Goals to move Surfrider toward this Vision:
- Stop human interruption of natural beach processes
- Improve coastal water quality
- Ensure healthy coastal ocean ecosystems
- Protect waves
- Secure universal, low-impact beach access
- Motivate a global movement of care for the coasts
- Attain our vision through chapter-based activism
Finally, all that we do is guided by three key values: Protection and enjoyment of our oceans, waves and beaches; environmentalism; and grass roots activism.
The Vision of the Surfrider Foundation is 150 coastal victories by 2010.