Why the GAC must remove .GREEN from Category 1:
Can a Grass Roots People’s Movement be Regulated?
Going .GREEN at the Top Level on the Internet
By Annalisa Roger, August 16, 2013
This article will explain in detail why .GREEN is not a regulated market, and why it MUST be removed from the GAC Category 1 List. There is a serious difference between what CAN be regulated and what CANNOT be regulated. The regulation of; products, industries, markets, businesses, and certification programs CAN and are regulated, they fall in the jurisdiction of governing bodies who regulate. Regulation of the use of a generic word which is already representative of so many different, concepts, things, actions, and even ideas of a worldwide grassroots movement CANNOT be regulated, has not been regulated, and never will be regulated.
Erroneous Assumption: Since GREEN refers to sustainability between people and planet, it therefore belongs in all discussions having to do with environmentalism. Yet, when it comes to the Top Level of Internet domains and the Government Advisory Committee’s Category 1 List for regulated markets, this “catch-all” thinking is far from correct. Because of the meaning and global purpose of GREEN already created by the world’s citizens, a second and more thorough look must be taken.
Background: .GREEN has been proposed as a Top-Level Domain (“TLD”) for the Internet. That means that a whole naming space or section of the Internet will be for URLs or web addresses ending with .GREEN – a new option apart from the former choices like .COM and .ORG. A TLD is also referred to as a “string.” The letters which comprise a TLD or a string sit to the right of the “.” in a domain name. Most strings on the Internet have not been recognizable words, yet many new strings coming live on the Internet will be words – even words in different scripts and languages. If you use the Internet, you will see them appearing soon and will have more choice as competition and innovation is added to the increasingly global Internet.
The .GREEN TLD is designed as the name space where the people of the GREEN Movement define what GREEN means and how it relates to everything people and businesses do and expect regarding sustainability. .GREEN websites will convey values and shared goals between Internet users, businesses, governments, NGOs and individuals. .GREEN website surfing will help the Internet user identify, collaborate, and share information online to learn important ways for everyone to take action in our daily lives for a bright and healthy future we all want. Registrants (website owners) will contribute to the not-for-profit DotGreen Foundation, and EarthShare with the purchase of their .GREEN domain names, supporting local programs and projects in all regions of the world. .GREEN offers Internet users a chance to surf globally and support positive local change.
Enter: The Government Advisory Committee (“GAC”); the group of about 100 governments from around the world which has engaged in extraordinary effort advising the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) on all the new TLDs for the Internet.
The issue: The GAC has relegated the new .GREEN TLD to a list they consider environmental and then went a step farther by assigning “environmental .GREEN” to their “Category 1” list of strings allegedly requiring a set of criteria for “regulated markets”. The major flaw here, is the GAC’s dangerous assumption that GREEN is recognized as a “regulated market.” It is not.
3 Facts that challenge this:
- 1. The .GREEN string itself is not a market. It has been proposed as an acronym representing the full meaning of the word GREEN: a Global Response to Economic and Environmental Necessities: where the people of the world (Global)strive for a point of balance (Their Response) between the interests of people (Economic) and planet (Environmental) Necessities (which is critical). GREEN is the meaning of sustainability. Humanitarian issues combined with environmental challenges, corporate responsibility and social justice bring awareness and a broader story to the economic factors affecting our planet. The environment alone will not survive without addressing this complete picture. Add the component that it is the people who drive this movement, and that is why G.R.E.E.N. is a Global and grassroots Response to these issues of Environmental and Economic Necessities. Assumptions that GREEN is a regulated and regulate-able commercial market is not only erroneous, but dangerous to the critical progress and health of people and planet at this juncture in our history.
- 2. GREEN is a grass roots movement. This is the opposite of something that is supposed to be regulated by a governing body.
- 3. This word and its definition stands for much more than environment, more than a market, more than an industry and furthermore, it is not regulated worldwide. GREEN is a lifestyle, a business model, an idea, innovation, careful use of resources, up-cycling, recycling, re-useable, bio-degradable, bio-diversity preservation, conservation, and sometimes GREEN means elimination. This word, term, string, or TLD, .GREEN is not regulate-able – and no one entity should try to do so.
History: A representation of the Green Movement has existed among various people throughout the ages in different ways, under different circumstances, and under different names. Being healthy and responsible with resources is not new to the 21st Century. A look at almost all cultures throughout time reveals populations, communities, and civilizations that had the utmost respect for nature, their climate, the environment, and its resources.
Many of these values and practices which reuse, recycle, preserve, conserve, and protect have sustained our environments, our communities, and ourselves. These values have resurfaced and grown in awareness in recent decades and have been associated with the GREEN movement. In California, during the 1960s, there is a well-known grass roots history; not a regulated market put forth by governments, or a governing body. Today GREEN continues to grow and regulate itself as a movement of the people, consumers, and Not-for Profits and NGOs around the world.
In the 1970s there was a rash of corporate GREEN washing. A marketing ploy that persisted through the 80s and tainted the idea of businesses going green and of consumers trusting corporations. These memories are not easily forgotten more than a generation remains guarded. Activists did an excellent job exposing fraud pre-Internet. Consequently in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was the corporate entities that shied away from professing any action or practice as being GREEN. Instead, they guarded the marketing dollars invested behind their brands, and were not willing to take a chance with the word green.
21st Century GREEN: In increasing numbers, corporations are returning to GREEN. This time, they are invited to partner with environmental and Not-for Profit organizations, they benefit from expertise and exercise caution while learning more about integrating sustainability into their operations. Companies are showing an interest in learning, taking action, and joining a new generation of customers and their communities. Corporate competition and profitability for shareholders has given birth to Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) and has led to the introduction and widespread practice of employing a Chief Sustainability Officer (“CSO”). CSOs are looking for strategic advantages through sustaining the natural resources they need to stay in business, please their customers, decrease waste and increase their profit margins. Partnering with NGOs and local communities provides a happier and healthier workforce providing cost efficiencies. It also provides corporations with the experience and knowledge needed to make the right choices in going green. While many CEOs lead their companies to greener practices for economic benefits, more are still reluctant to make any claims about sustainability. However, they are finding that GREEN business practices such as social responsibility are not lost on today’s sophisticated consumers. The Internet plays a large part in the awareness and dissemination among consumers of information about corporate practices. .GREEN is the platform that will provide an immediate partnership with the public, the DotGreen Community, Inc. and the Not-for profit DotGreen Foundation for corporates to tell their story of sustainability. Going GREEN – not claiming to “be” GREEN is the way of today and our future. Consumers and Internet users are looking for organizations, governments, and businesses who participate in this most important join effort by using the .GREEN TLD alongside their brand.
The GREEN Movement: The GREEN Movement is a grassroots phenomenon. Growth is driven by increasing populations seeking healthy solutions to environmental challenges, scarcity of natural resources, clean water, economic challenges, conflicts, and human rights. GREEN leads to awareness of climate change, threatened species, understanding, economic opportunities, innovation, and a desire to ‘do one’s part’ in this quest to secure a bright future for all people and businesses. Governments too have followed and joined the movement by creating GREEN spaces, policies, and certification programs. Likewise, corporates and business will always go where the people are and will progress to keep their customers. As the movement evolves and more voices join, it defines itself, it has no governing body. The .GREEN TLD space on the Internet is essential to all.
Meaning of GREEN: The word GREEN has transcended the status of a generic word. As a new TLD, it is an Internationalized Domain Name, a term that maintains its meaning outside of the English speaking world without the need for translation. And like the grassroots movement of the same name, .GREEN will continue to be defined and valued by those who use it. It is not possible and is incorrect to consider this word as a commercial market sector to be regulated. For this, GREEN would have to have one distinct meaning, and be applicable to one industry or process. GREEN may describe a market and a process, yet it also describes activities, people, buildings, businesses and actions for a healthy environment and planet. GREEN is used to describe technology, energy, innovation, and the nature of things, healthy solutions, or even a cleaner way of doing something. GREEN even portrays an interest in doing better….improving on the status quo and at the same time, it can mean a return to natural techniques that treat all living beings; animals, workers, people, and our planet with respect and fairness. GREEN describes gender equity, human rights, renewable resources, transportation and more. Going GREEN is what each individual can do now!
Consumer Trust: The Green Community and Internet users know this, and more importantly, they expect this of the .GREEN TLD named for the GREEN Movement. The history of the GREEN movement combined with the evolution of the Internet and social networking has further defined the GREEN Movement itself. The Internet has given the people an equitable voice in many arenas. Freedom online is expected, freedom to determine consensus and what it means to be GREEN have been a driving force in the GREEN Movement. Consumers are now more sophisticated, and the newest members of the GREEN movement are significantly younger and more tech savvy than those in previous decades. Social Networking is a global tool and still recent phenomenon. Citizens have an interest, and accept a personal responsibility like never before. The Internet and the .GREEN TLD is a natural evolution for the GREEN Movement and a way to use the Internet and the new gTLD program for good.
In Summary: The string .GREEN needs to be removed from the GAC’s regulated markets Category 1 List. There is a serious difference between a real governing body regulating things, industries, markets, or businesses, which can and should be regulated, and which lie in its jurisdiction Versus the regulation the use of a generic word that is representative of so many different, concepts, things, actions, and ideas of a worldwide grassroots movement.