Climate Change Groups Seek New Leadership as Green Movement Loses Momentum

It is unclear exactly why many climate change organizations are installing new executives, but it appears they are following the professional sports paradigm: When a team loses more than it wins, you can’t fire all the players, but you can fire the coach.

In the last decade the environmentalist have peddled harsh laws to install climate change strategies. However, many of these laws don’t pass, and new regulations fail to get traction. With global warming at a standstill for most of the last two decades and – much to Al Gore’s chagrin – plenty of ice still on the polar caps, more green groups are firing their CEO’s.

Next to go is Maggie Fox, president and CEO of the Al Gore-founded Climate Reality Project, who will be gone in the Spring. The group was previously called the Alliance for Climate Protection and was part of the unsuccessful environmental movement’s drive to enact cap-and-trade legislation in 2009-10.

Two other large U.S. environmental companies are giving the boot to their leaders. National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Larry Schweiger is leaving in May, and Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke is also parting ways with her group in 2014.

Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, defended the changing of the guard. "It happens in every profession," he said; "An older generation gives way to a new one. In this case, a new generation of leaders needs to step up." However, this logic doesn’t fully explain why Greenpeace USA is canning Executive Director Phil Radford who is only in his late 30s, a clear member of that younger generation.


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