Enviros square off over corporate ties, climate tactics

A story this month in The Nation magazine has fanned the flames of a green movement debate over whether some big beltway environmental groups are willing to compromise too much on climate change.

The story, by British journalist Johann Hari, attacks groups including the Nature Conservancy and Conservation International that have partnered with oil companies and other industries on various projects, linking the groups’ acceptance of corporate money to what he calls weak stances on climate policy.

Hari’s piece underscores divisions within the green movement that are evident in the Capitol Hill debate over climate legislation. A large number of big groups – such as National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club – are trying to shepherd a climate bill through the Senate that will include several concessions to various industries. 

But some other groups say that major Capitol Hill plans are giving away too much. The Center for Biological Diversity last week accused senators crafting the bill of “pandering” to business groups. And Greenpeace opposed the big climate bill the House approved last year.

Anyway, The Nation has posted responses to the story from a spectrum of environmental groups, providing a limited field guide of sorts to these green movement divides.