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Aid groups intensify push for clean energy, for the sake of the Arctic

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is best known for its work protecting animals and wildlife habitat, but as of late the nonprofit has branched out. WWF, along with other nonprofit aid groups, are making a push to persuade policy makers, corporations and others to seriously consider sustainable energy sources, especially in the Arctic.

According to the international edition of The New York Times, WWF has been putting substantial effort into climate change research and advocacy in the hopes of changing current world public policy on climate and clean energy. WWF and others have been actively lobbying various government groups, through the use of coalitions like the Climate Action Network, pushing for policy changes that would favor non-carbon-intensive energy sources around the globe. 

WWF's Samantha Smith began her career with the nonprofit working on Arctic habitat protection, but now leads WWF's Climate and Energy Initiative. Smith has been actively pushing WWF's sustainable energy message around the globe and, at last week's Global Clean Energy Forum in Barcelona, Spain, Smith faced Charles Soothill of energy company Alstom in a debate about European emissions and renewable energy goals.

Smith said during the debate that her own experience working on the first Arctic Climate Impact Assessment resulted in a major personal epiphany. She realized that the only way to save endangered Arctic species is to considering the greater global climate issue. Smith said, "I suddenly realized that climate change is not happening in many decades — it is affecting the Arctic now." By persuading global officials that sustainable energy is a real option and should be a serious priority, Smith believes that Arctic habitats and animals will have a fighting chance.

To read more visit The New York Times' international edition, here.