This week is bringing a rapid-fire burst of new climate change groups, underscoring how the pandemic is revamping but isn't freezing advocacy — and if anything is boosting calls for new emissions policies.
Driving the news: Axios' Amy Harder reports exclusively that a group of wealthy donors that has funded far-left climate activists is now beginning to support interests pushing more moderate ideas.
The Climate Emergency Fund, which has donated to such activist groups like Extinction Rebellion and 350.org, is now funding a new effort called the Coalition for Sustainable Jobs.
How it works: Co-founders and donors to the fund include Rory Kennedy, daughter of Sen. Robert Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, and Aileen Getty, granddaughter of oil billionaire Jean Paul Getty.
- The new coalition has support from moderate interests like evangelists, hunters, fishers and young conservatives.
- Members include Evangelical Environmental Network, American Conservation Coalition and Conservation Hawks.
What's next: The group wants any economic recovery packages to include relatively narrow clean-energy and climate-change policies, Amy reports.
- “When COVID hit, and it became very apparent we couldn’t support people going out in the streets right now and the impact this has had on the economy, we all kind of looked at each other,” Kennedy said.
- “We were looking at Washington where they were releasing literally trillions of dollars, and it felt like we were at this precipice and we can go one way or another.”
- Go deeper in the Axios stream.
The intrigue: Amy's scoop arrives as former aides to progressive Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee's climate-focused White House run are formally launching a new group today called Evergreen.
- The group is trying to keep Inslee's very detailed and aggressive platform alive, calling it an "open source" plan. They want Joe Biden (should he win) and congressional Democrats to make emissions-cutting policies a top priority.
- Evergreen soft-launched last month with a policy platform, but today brings new information and details, including a website, a list of advisers and more.
- They're collaborating with the progressive think tank Data for Progress in a new push to inject major climate and zero-carbon energy investments into stimulus bills.
But, but, but: It's worth noting that the ongoing push by several groups to add renewables provisions to pandemic response bills has yet to bear fruit.
Who they are: The group's political director is Maggie Thomas, who worked on Inslee's campaign and later for Elizabeth Warren's run. Other former Inslee aides involved include Jamal Raad, Sam Ricketts and Bracken Hendricks.
The big picture: Today's news comes 24 hours after veteran Democratic operatives launched a political (not policy) group aimed at making climate a priority in the election and laying the groundwork for aggressive steps afterward.