Environmental nonprofit campaigns and state competition: Influences on climate policy in California
Date of this Version
Over the past 20 years, the US Federal Government has been considered to be intransigent in its response to climate change by many commentators and not-for-profit environmental advocacy organizations (nonprofits). An enduring source of pressure on the US Government has been nonprofit campaigns operating at both a state and federal level. Six US environmental nonprofits representing a diversity of resources and prominence were selected for an in-depth examination of their climate-focused campaigns. Given the resistance at the federal level, these nonprofits have undertaken state-focused campaigns to achieve adequate climate policy development. This research examined some climate campaigns in California by the selected nonprofits that have supported, enhanced, and influenced the Californian Government's efforts to address climate change. The campaigns have gained leverage from existing state competition for economic advancement and political leadership on issues of public concern. In addition, they appear to have benefited from a high level of environmental awareness in the community, a history of progressive environmental legislation, Governor Schwarzenegger's use of climate change to differentiate his political leadership, and strong public trust of nonprofits. Recent climate-related political pledges and legislative changes at a federal level are convergent with the nonprofit-influenced, state-level developments.
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