Organization Trends

Is the Arabella Network Telling the Truth About Itself? Part 2

An internal memo confirms that the multibillion-dollar network is not what it claims to be.


Is the Arabella Network Telling the Truth About Itself? (full series)
The Emails | The Memo

 

The Memo

Amazingly, the memorandum pitched to Inslee’s office is on shared Arabella/New Venture Fund letterhead and comes from Lee Bodner and Bruce Boyd. (One takes it that they’ve done this sort of joint work many times before.)

Shared Arabella/New Venture Fund letterhead. Full emails archived at https://climatelitigationwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Arabella-Govs-docs.pdf.

“The Alliance has an opportunity to send a strong signal to global leaders, markets, and policymakers that the United States remains committed to the spirit and goals of the U.N. Paris Agreement,” Bodner and Boyd write.

Responding to this urgent need will require strong facilitation to drive action toward this commitment, building partnerships across the states and leaders in the private sector and rapidly mobilizing resources to support the Alliance’s goals. The New Venture Fund (NVF) and Arabella Advisors would be thrilled to partner with you to quickly and efficiently formalize and grow the Alliance.

Together the New Venture Fund and its consulting partner Arabella Advisors are uniquely positioned to help you quickly secure and deploy resources for the Alliance while making connections to influential climate leaders. . . . We can draw on a wealth of experience forming and hosting similarly complex new initiatives . . . [to] secure fundraising and communications support for the Alliance.

For example, the New Venture Fund helped the We Mean Business coalition to launch a global coalition of thousands of the world’s most influential corporations to advocate for a transition to a low carbon economy. As the We Mean Business fiscal sponsor[,] NVF is supporting the executive committee, applying for grants, and managing contracts.

Elsewhere Bodner notes that the We Mean Business Coalition is “a $40 million effort to bring business leaders into the conversation around climate policy” and “one of the organizers of [We Are Still In],” a campaign to enforce a national net-zero emissions policy by 2050 run by the World Wildlife Fund. According to InfluenceWatch, the coalition consists of over 900 companies representing $17.6 trillion in market capitalization.

NVF is playing a similar role on the Shine campaign, an ambitious global effort to end energy poverty by 2030. . . . Working in partnership with the United Nation’s [sic] Sustainable Energy for All initiative, Arabella is recruiting and facilitating the Shine Secretariat—which will include global climate leaders such as [ex-Irish president] Mary Robinson—and helping to devise the campaign’s initial strategy.

Interestingly, today the Shine Campaign is run by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, though it’s unclear when it changed hands. Elsewhere, Bodner notes that “Arabella is helping to recruit, organize, and facilitate and leadership group that will drive the [Shine] campaign forward” while “working closely with the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative.”

Arabella’s climate team also has the expertise and networks in United States and global climate policy necessary to build strong connections with private sector and civil society leaders. For example, Arabella is working with several climate funders across the United States to advance ambitious clean energy policies at the state and municipal level.

We currently manage grants to advance 100 percent clean energy campaigns in key states such as New York, California, Florida, and Washington. We also supported a post-Paris convening of global climate leaders in partnership with Climate Action Network International to craft country-level plans to meet the goals established in the agreement.

That’s Arabella, not New Venture Fund, organizing multiple global climate campaigns—likely evidence that the network internally refers to itself as “Arabella” instead of making the careful distinctions it tries to force upon conservative critics.

Offering the World

So what services can “NVF and Arabella”—DC’s most powerful political machine—provide for the U.S. Climate Alliance?

  • Arabella can coordinate early Alliance partners . . . [and] NVF can serve as a platform to hire dedicated staff and manage any contractors needed to advance the work.
  • “[W]e will work with state leaders to translate commitments made into meaningful action . . . [to enact] emissions reductions in the Paris Agreement.
  • Arabella can provide timely support for outreach, helping to manage and track communications, prioritize target states, and connect with in-state partners.
  • “[W]e will drive outreach to funders and private sector allies. . . . We will draw on NVF and Arabella’s expansive networks with climate funders, corporate leaders, and investors to identify critical partners for the Alliance and support the Secretariat’s outreach.
  • “NVF can quickly contract with trusted fundraising and communications specialists to support the Secretariat.
  • “NVF can secure and deploy Alliance resources . . . and meet all financial reporting and compliance needs.”

Again, the memo often says Arabella alone is acting. For instance, “Arabella developed the program strategy, identifies grantees, makes funding recommendations, and executes all grant-making.” Above all, the memo’s concluding paragraph summarizes the network’s goal in reaching out to Governor Inslee by stating that Arabella alone, not its “client” New Venture, will be the leader: “We look forward to continuing our discussion about how Arabella can best support the US Climate Alliance going forward.”

As evidence of past success, the memo mentions the Equity and Excellence Commission, a New Venture Fund project formed at the behest of the U.S. Department of Education with funding from the Hewlett, Gates, and Kellogg Foundations to make “policy recommendations” for public schools.

An archived webpage from 2013 observes that the commission made “recommendations for restructuring school finance systems to achieve equity,” perhaps an early example of the Left’s noxious diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) doctrine in action—with backing from “dark money.”

Entrenched

More broadly, the Inslee emails show how deeply enmeshed Arabella is in the professional Left and the Democratic Party. Bodner, for example, was initially introduced to Davis by an email from Matt Steuerwalt, Inslee’s then-policy director who previously worked as a climate policy advisor for Gov. Christine Gregoire (D-WA). He’s now a partner at Insight Strategic Partners, a left-leaning Seattle-based lobbying firm led by Gregoire’s former chief of staff, Marty Loesch.

In a later exchange, Davis runs Arabella’s “support offer” past another Inslee staffer: Sam Ricketts, now a senior fellow for energy and environment at the Center for American Progress who brags on his bio about helping “Gov. Inslee to establish the U.S. Climate Alliance.”

Ricketts’ reply: “I know some Arabella Advisors folks . . . good group[.]”

Also copied on the thread were Alexander Cochran, director of government affairs for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), and Aimee Barnes, a senior advisor to the California-China Climate Institute at University of California, Berkeley, and founder of the Hawaiian energy consultancy Hua Nani Partners.

Barnes’ biography notes that she worked on presidential campaign of then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), “helping to draft her ‘Climate Plan for the People,’” and on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, “where she led the Bay Area Idealists4Hillary group.” She’s also called for a host of “environmental justice” policies in the Biden administration—Marxist social justice ideas extended to eco-activism.

The Inslee emails strongly suggest that this is the Arabella network’s modus operandi. There’s surely more out there waiting to be uncovered. Only one question remains: How long can Arabella continue to hide its activism in the shadows?

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is a Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. He is also a columnist at the Washington Free Beacon and writes regularly for the American Conservative. Ludwig is…
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