The 120-year-old U.S. environmental movement has undergone a tectonic shift and resurgence over the last several years, spearheaded by the failed legislative effort to cap carbon emissions in 2010. In the aftermath of that debacle, some the biggest environmental groups reshaped their missions—supplementing inside-the-Beltway campaigning with grassroots organizing and civil disobedience action not seen in this country since the 1970s. New groups from the hyperlocal to the national and global were born.
Today the 10 organizations driving the modern green wave—profiled in the infographic below—collectively have 15 million members, 2,000-plus staffers and annual budgets of more than $525 million to advance environmental agendas at the local, national and international levels.
Although often characterized as a monolithic entity, each group has its own priorities and tactics, and each represents diverse interests and constituents—from youth climate activists to hunters and anglers. In recent years these organizations and others have found common cause over stopping the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, wielding their collective power to help turn the project into the red line on climate change for President Obama.