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Climate change heats up as critical issue for associations

Many groups either modified positions or kicked off new advocacy efforts amid member pressure to address controversial topic

Jan. 7, 2020
By Walt Williams

As temperatures rose across the globe in 2019, so did public attention to climate change, with associations responding by either amending existing policies, launching new initiatives, or finding themselves under increasing pressure from business members to take a position.

Last year saw an unusual amount of activity on the topic from a broad range of associations, from business groups traditionally opposed to environmental regulation to professional societies urging lawmakers to take greater steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions. One of the more notable examples came in April when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce modified its official position on climate change to no longer question the science behind it, with the group launching a “climate action” task force a few months later.