Public demand for clean energy is growing rapidly, but because clean energy products typically require a large upfront cost, there is a growing need for affordable financing. That’s why a passionate group of volunteers started Clean Energy Credit Union, a new financial institution that focuses solely on providing loans that help people afford clean energy products and services such as solar electric systems, electric vehicles, geothermal heat pumps, electric bicycles, high efficiency HVAC systems, and other green home improvements.
In January 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), but the federal government refuses to enshrine it in the US Constitution. Rachel’s Network, along with founder Winsome McIntosh’s McIntosh Foundation, have filed a legal brief supporting three states in their lawsuit against the federal government for failing to uphold the ERA.
For 20 years, the women in our network have used their voices and resources to uplift other women and contribute to solutions. It’s gratifying to see what’s possible when we work together for positive change. Read our 2019 Annual Report here.
Are women more likely to support and champion environmental legislation? Rachel’s Network has been seeking answers to that question in our When Women Lead report. Previous iterations of the report analyzed the voting records of federal legislators going back to 1983 using League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Environmental Scorecard data. This year, we’ve extended our data to 1972, the year that LCV first began keeping records of Congress’ votes on the environment.
In response to impacts COVID-19 has had on the operations, financial security, and well-being of the women in our extended community, our organization launched the Rachel’s Network Community Resilience Fund in April 2020 to provide small, unrestricted gifts directly to nonprofits and women environmental leaders.
Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen, one of the country’s leading environmental lawyers, has joined Rachel’s Network as a liaison. As head of the nation’s premier public interest environmental law organization, Abigail leads a staff of over 400, with more than 130 lawyers, in fourteen offices across the country. She has litigated many precedent-setting cases that have held polluters accountable and cleared the way for clean energy nationally.
Member Mary Bookwalter is funding a number of dam removals in her home state of Indiana both as an individual and through the Indiana Forest Alliance as a donor and volunteer. Most recently, she helped decommission the Collamer Dam on the Eel River. Mary spoke with us about how she got involved in these projects and what’s next.
Rachel’s Network Partners with Coalition Fighting Petrochemical Development in the Ohio River Valley
The American Chemistry Council has identified $36 billion in potential petrochemical and plastic manufacturing investments in the Ohio River Valley and corporations have already begun building ethane cracker plants, pipelines, storage facilities, and other dirty infrastructure. Rachel’s Network is partnering with the People Over Petro Coalition to fight back.
The outreach and programming that zoos provide is critical in the face of declining endangered species, environmental regulation rollbacks, habitat destruction, and climate change. Olga Donahue who serves on the Board of Governors of the Denver Zoo explains what they do to protect wildlife and habitats around the world.
In 2019, Tompkins Conservation donated one million acres to Chile to help establish 10 million acres of new national parks in the country. Rachel’s Network traveled to Chile earlier this year to meet Tompkins Conservation staff, including president and co-founder Kristine Tompkins, and visit two of the new parks – Pumalín and Patagonia. The trip left an impression on members who subsequently provided a grant to Tompkins to support their continued conservation work.