Research Paper: Edf Social Change the Environmental Defense Fund

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EDF Social Change

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) as a Driver of Social and Political Change

The environmental movement is historically imposed upon the challenge of reconciling the need for greater conservation, sustainability and protection of resources with the thrust for greater industrial development, profitability and consumption. Thus, there is a distinct value in the formation of agencies or organizations with the objective of improving environmental regulations through compromise between these competing interests. This is the premise underlying the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which was established in 1967 as a way of bringing constructive moderation to the environmental movement.

Effectiveness in Social and Political Change:

More so than many of the environmentally conscious groups that were formed during the burst of conservationist activities in the 1960s, the EDF would be distinguished by the practicality of its objectives. According to the EDF, its primary mission revolves on the achievement of market driven changes that can bring about environmental improvements. As a result, its effectiveness in achieving political change is uniquely effective. Because it proposes inherent compromise in furthering the challenges inherent to sustainability, its orientation is considered far more amicable to businesses and government groups considering meaningful partnerships with moderate and respectable groups. Thus, as the EDF reports of its approach to change, "our solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. We work in concert with other organizations -- as well as with business, government and communities -- and avoid duplicating work already being done effectively by others" (EDF, p. 1)

Its willingness to work closely with members of industry to find solutions that work for all parties has made EDF a successful instigator of progressive change not just by inclining legislative change but also by finding ways to involve corporate players that might otherwise stand as political and ideological enemies. As its own history details, the EDF would be central in advancing approaches to environmental change that are today considered standard. Among them would be partnership with legal teams, economists and corporations in the achievement of their various objectives relating to the use of pesticides, industrial emission standards, regulatory oversight of polluters and efforts aimed at reducing the rapid pace of global climate change. Accordingly, the EDF reports that from the early outset, the agency "began hiring economists, which led to our international prominence in designing market-based solutions. In the 1990s, we pioneered corporate partnerships and some of the first interactive uses of online communications." (EDF, p. 3)

In these regards, the EDF has remained at the forefront of changes not just in environmental law but in how the pursuit of these changes is implemented. The result has been a particular effectiveness not just in establishing political partnerships but also in channeling these partnerships toward meaningful social change. The article by B.F. (1979) would underscore this innovative position in the field by endorsing the view that changes in market tactics should be central to bringing about changes in environmental practice. On this point, B.F. argues that "a reduced rate of energy consumption need not mean a no-growth economy, according to a recent report of the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). . . With a 'determined effort,' the United States could increase its economic growth by from 60 to 90% while increasing energy use by only 10 to 15%." (B.F., p. 21)

This demonstrates the progressive implications of an approach to environmental improvements… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Edf Social Change the Environmental Defense Fund.  (2011, November 15).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/edf-social-change-environmental-defense/4598043

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"Edf Social Change the Environmental Defense Fund."  15 November 2011.  Web.  20 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/edf-social-change-environmental-defense/4598043>.

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"Edf Social Change the Environmental Defense Fund."  Essaytown.com.  November 15, 2011.  Accessed May 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/edf-social-change-environmental-defense/4598043.