WWF Emerges as Leading Lobbyist on Senate Climate Bill

An environmental group that made its name battling on behalf of pandas, polar bears and pelicans now is fighting for what it fears is a politically imperiled species: U.S. climate legislation that has a global perspective.

An environmental group that made its name battling on behalf of pandas, polar bears and pelicans now is fighting for what it fears is a politically imperiled species: U.S. climate legislation that has a global perspective.

WWFThe World Wildlife Fund spent the past year lobbying zealously for a bill that would provide assistance preserving forests, funds to spark demand for clean technologies in developing countries and money to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate-induced changes. It won almost none of what it wanted in the legislation (pdf) from Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

The group now is forming strategies to persuade lawmakers that those international provisions are necessary and that climate legislation needs to become law.

“We need to do a better job of explaining why it’s in America’s best interest” to include international provisions, said Lou Leonard, WWF’s director of international climate policy. “We need to explain all of it, and hopefully each of those reasons will resonate with different groups of people, and we’ll be able to build enough support to get it in.”

The effort comes as part of WWF’s stepped-up lobbying campaign. The organization, which operates in 100 countries, is a relatively new entrant in climate lobbying but shifted its approach more than a year ago. Climate change increasingly is seen as one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, Leonard said.

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Source: The New York Times
Photo: World Wildlife Fund