Chapter

From Thinking Globally about Climate Change to Acting Locally on the Energy Challenge

Ion Bogdan Vasi

in Winds of Change

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199746927
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827169 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746927.003.0005
From Thinking Globally about Climate Change to Acting Locally on the Energy Challenge

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This chapter shows that although American environmental groups had little success in influencing federal energy policies, they contributed to a significant increase in local demand for renewable energy. The chapter shows how environmental groups shape organizations' decisions to purchase green power. Many environmental groups offer crucial mobilizing resources for green‐power champions. Others act as brokers who connect organizations with renewable energy developers or utilities, as certification agents who verify the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs), or as organizers of protests, boycotts, or shareholder activism. The analysis demonstrates that, while environmental groups and activists can sometimes pressure organizations to change “from the outside” through protests, boycotts, and lawsuits, their most significant impact is through creating change “from the inside.” In the case of colleges and universities, national and local environmental groups have pushed for green‐power purchases both bottom‐up, by organizing student campaigns for clean energy, and top‐down, by coordinating a network of college and university presidents who are committed to addressing climate change. In the case of companies, environmental groups have pushed for green‐power purchases mostly from the center by offering resources to mid‐level employees and environmental managers.

Keywords: green‐power markets; renewable energy certificates; clean energy campaigns; student activism; wind power champions

Chapter.  11074 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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