For funding information, see U.S. Climate Action Network
Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I) is the governing organization that unifies each Climate Action Network (CAN) region and chapter. The organization was founded shortly after the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). While its original intent was to serve as the coordinating committee for the IPCC, the group slowly evolved into a policy and activism network.
Organizational Background and Chapters
Some chapters of Climate Action Network-International are involved in questionable activities. For example, three members including the head of the Chesapeake chapter were logged in a police database as being “suspected of involvement in terrorism” for a 13 month stretch while others were arrested for disrupting government functions in Maryland and dumping coal on the U.S. Capitol lawn.
CAN chapters have a reputation for aggressive leftism: the Washington Post noted that anti-Trump administration groups were raising funds for its D.C. area chapter. The organization has even challenged and protested the Washington Nationals for receiving financial support from ExxonMobil. Exxon’s funds were directly supporting the promotion of a more environmentally friendly stadium.
Further, CAN even quarrels with other green groups for not being extreme enough. The New York Times notes members of CAN-I have feuded with other environmentalists about wind energy.
While at odds with less extreme environmentalists, CAN-I is has a working relationship with labor unions. At the recent Paris COP21 climate meeting, CAN-I organized a panel discussion and press briefing to discuss “getting human rights and labor provisions embedded in the Paris climate agreement.” CAN-I’s attempt to integrate the labor movement into the green movement was successful, with the Paris agreement becoming the first climate accord to feature labor relations language. Because of CAN-I’s actions, the AFL-CIO endorsed its first climate agreement since its string of opposition all the way back to the Kyoto Protocol.
Climate Action Network International was founded in 1989 a year after the creation of the World Meteorological Organization and the U.N. Environmental Program.
While CAN-I has a massive reach, it achieves this by means of a very short and select donor list, some of whom are anonymous. Its declared funders for 2015 were:
- Beyond 2015
- Brot für die Welt
- Christian Aid
- Climate Vulnerable Forum
- European Climate Foundation
- Fundación Integral de Desarrollo
- Global Health Alliance
- HELIO International
- Res Publica
- Sierra Club US
- Sticht Global Climate Action
- Union of Concerned Scientists
Its revenue for 2015 was $1,571,917, and their expenses totaled $1,533, 617.
Board and Staff
Climate Action International’s board of directors are all major players in climate activist groups. The board, elected in November 2016, includes:
Aïssatou Diouf is affiliated with Enda Energie in Senegal.
Ethan Spanner is affiliated with Climate Reality Project, in the United States.
Henriette Imelda Rambitan is affiliated with the Institute for Essential Services Reform, in Indonesia.
Mandy Woods is affiliated with WWF International, in South Africa.
Kashmala Kakakhel is affiliated with WEDO, in Pakistan.
Sven Harmling is affiliated with CARE International, in Germany.
Meera Ghani is affiliated with CIDSE, in Belgium.
Ram Kishan is affiliated with Christian Aid, in India.
Roque Pedace is affiliated with CAN Latin America, in Argentina.
Safaa El Jayoussi is a Co-Chair, and affiliated with IndyACT, in Jordan.
Krishneil Narayan is the Treasurer, and affiliated with PICAN, Pacific.
Sanjay Vashist is a Co-Chair, and affiliated with CAN South Asia, in India.
Li Shou is affiliated with Greenpeace, in China.
Area of Operations
Climate Action Network International’s sphere of influence is divided into regional and national networks. These networks give the organization global coverage.
The regional networks include:
- CAN Eastern Africa
- CAN Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
- CAN Europe
- CAN Latin America
- CAN Arab World
- Pacific Islands CAN
- CAN South Asia
- Southern African Region CAN
- CAN South East Asia
- CAN West and Central Africa
The national networks include nations with increased green activism and include:
- CAN Australia
- CAN-Rac Canada
- CAN China
- Rac France
- CAN Japan
- New Zealand Climate Action Network
- CAN South Africa
- CAN Tanzania
- CAN Uganda
- US Climate Action Network
The international Climate Action Network claims to represent 120 countries and contain over 1100 member organizations. Some are progressive groups from outside the environmentalist movement, like the Center for Social Inclusion, which aims “to dismantle structural racial inequity”. One reason CAN-I has such a large member participation is that any non-governmental organization can fill out a Google Doc form to apply for membership.
Further, CAN-I counts chapters of an organization in its membership number. For example, Greenpeace inflates CAN’s member count by 17 for each nation Greenpeace has a presence in while also counting the United States twice. CAN-I member organizations include:
- 350.org: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, United States
- ActionAid: Australia, Bangladesh, India, UK, United States
- Arise for Social Justice: United States
- California Student Sustainability Coalition: United States
- CARE: Bangladesh, Denmark, Switzerland, Uganda, Vanatu, United States
- Center for Climate Protection: United States
- Center for Popular Democracy: United States
- Center for Social Inclusion: United States
- Climate Justice Program: United States
- Climate Reality: United States
- Earth Justice: United States
- Friends of the Earth: United States
- Greenpeace: South Africa, Australia, Fiji, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Greece, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States