Green Watch

The Center for International Environmental Law Reaps Big Rewards for Radical Policies

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is a little known lefty climate advocacy nonprofit that wants industrial society to run on weather-dependent wind and solar energy and . . . virtually nothing else. The group also opposes carbon-free nuclear energy and carbon-free hydroelectric dams.

Most of the “mainstream” climate Left is out on this anti-nuclear radical fringe. More than 700 left-leaning nonprofits have opposed nuclear energy, including the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund and League of Conservation Voters. Cumulative annual revenue for all anti-nuclear groups exceeds $2.3 billion.

CIEL is so far out on that fringe that they even opposed the climate pork–filled Inflation Reduction Act because some of the loot can get sent to carbon dioxide–reduction technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration.

Rapidly Increasing Revenue

Another thing that sets CIEL apart is that in recent years it has experienced a steep growth in revenue.

In its tax filings from 2001 through 2018 (and perhaps going back all the way to its founding in 1989) the Center for International Environmental Law never reported annual revenue of more than $4 million, and for all but two of those years annual revenue did not exceed $3 million. A lot has changed since 2018. With steady annual increases, the reported revenue of the left-leaning climate advocacy group for 2022 was $10.4 million.

During that five-year period of large funding increases, CIEL received a cumulative $12.5 million from more than a dozen left-leaning foundation donors, such as  Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors ($2.4 million cumulative donations since 2018), Sequoia Climate Fund ($2 million), National Philanthropic Trust ($1.5 million), JPB Foundation ($950,000), Marisla Foundation ($925,000),  Charles Stewart Mott Foundation ($800,000),  Environmental Investigation Agency ($698,000),  Schmidt Family Foundation ($675,000), and Zegar Family Foundation ($500,000).

Promoting bad energy policy sure pays well, doesn’t it?

InfluenceWatch Profiles

New InfluenceWatch profiles of CIEL and the anti-nuclear nonprofits are available here:

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
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