THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
to more than 600 million people representing one quarter of the
Civil Society Initiatives
A prodigious array of civil society organizations, from aca-
demic consortia and think tanks to activist NGOs, engages on
climate issues. For many, climate is a primary or exclusive focus,
while for others it is part of a broader environmental, develop-
ment or faith-based agenda. Such groups also vary considerably
in their geographic scope: some are active locally, others at the
provincial/state level, still others nationally or globally.
Most are involved in formal or informal coalitions, or are them-
selves coalitions of groups, such as
of business-facing NGOs that work directly with companies and
Climate Action Network
(an umbrella group of
more than 1,000 environmental NGOs from around the globe, with
formal regional networks inmultiple locations) and
the Groundswell of Climate Actions
(a convener of dialogues
among various cohorts of non-state actors, including academics,
businesses, cities and non-governmental groups).
These initiatives also vary widely in resources, from shoestring
operations to well-established organizations with multimillion-
dollar annual operating budgets. Increasingly, organizations
founded in developed countries have launched branches or
sister organizations in developing nations, particularly those with
What’s Next on Climate Change?
The world is moving forward on climate change, with or with-
out U.S. government involvement. Given the realities of a warming
climate, the United States will not be able to avoid the issue for
long. Even prolonged inaction is not going to change what the
rest of the world does. Indeed, the U.S. announcement is already
stimulating action by our own businesses, cities and states. But it
will leave the federal government without a seat at a very big table.
Rather than leading, the United States will be scrambling to
catch up from a withdrawal decision that ignored the Paris Agree-
ment’s actual terms and that has demonstrably undermined U.S.
credibility internationally, as the world proceeds without us to
create the low-carbon economy of the 21st century.