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Winds of ChangeThe Environmental Movement and the Global Development of the Wind Energy Industry$
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Ion Bogdan Vasi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746927.001.0001

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

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

(p.116) 4 From Thinking Globally about Climate Change to Acting Locally on the Energy Challenge
Winds of Change

Ion Bogdan Vasi

Oxford University Press

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

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