CLEAR, which aspires to be the first European project of environmental accounting, was created in the light of the consideration that both in large cities and small villages, environmental issues constitute a very tangible problem, the costs of which local administrators are required to identify and make known.
What are the effects of territorial policies today? In other words, just how much does the environment cost? And how much is or will the general public be supposed to spend on the environment now or in the future? As these costs are not evident in public accounting systems, the CLEAR project sets out to define new, simple tools able to identify, register, manage and report on the environmental costs and benefits of all the local authority initiatives within a certain territory.
As part of the project, the aim of the towns and provinces involved is to come to the definition and approval of the ‘green budgets’ at the same time as the economic/financial budget and other planning documents are being discussed. Just as the economic/financial budget of a local authority is the means by which the administration takes on the responsibility for the economic repercussions of its management choices before the electorate, the various political factions and watchdog bodies, a council or province’s environmental budget will document the accountable aspects weighing on the natural resources and environmental heritage of the area.
In this manner, CLEAR aims to improve the local governance of the environment, providing a practical means of support to the decisions taken by local administrators as well as a way of providing accountability to help citizens to properly evaluate the conduct of those governing their city.