- President of the National Wildlife Federation
- Board member of the Alliance for Climate Protection
- Emphasizes the urgent need for comprehensive energy legislation to address the “climate crisis” sparked by “unchecked global warming”
See also: National Wildlife Federation Alliance for Climate Protection
Born in 1950, Larry Schweiger was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University, where he majored in forestry and was an activist for clean-air and clean-water campaigns. He then spent ten years in the Pennsylvania legislature as an environmental advocate.
From 1981-95, Schweiger served as senior vice president of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF); he also published the magazines which that organization produced. From 1995-2004, Schweiger worked variously as vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, executive secretary of the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and (for eight years) president/CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Then, when Mark Van Putten resigned as president and CEO of NWF in 2004, Schweiger succeeded him in both of those positions, which he continues to hold to this day. He is also a board member of the Alliance for Climate Protection and the John Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment.
In 2009 Schweiger published Last Chance, a book that “breaks down the science behind global climate change” and explains “how the clean energy economy can provide the solutions we need to avert the worst consequences of global warming.”
On March 25 of that same year, Schweiger testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, where he emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive energy legislation to address the “climate crisis” that had been set in motion by “unchecked global warming.” Asserting that the extent of “climate change has consistently been undersestimated” thus far, Schweiger claimed that “in the lifetime of a child born today, 20 to 30 percent of the world's plant and animal species will be on the brink of extinction if we don't take action now.”
Specifically, Schweiger called on Congress to “cap global warming pollution” immediately by means of cap-and-trade legislation, and to continue mandating additional carbon reductions far into the future. “Reducing carbon pollution in the atmosphere is the only way to head off the worst impacts of climate change on people and on wildlife,” he declared.
Moreover, Schweiger maintains that the government revenues generated by cap-and-trade should be used “to carry out a program that is clean, green, and fair.” “Clean,” in Schweiger's telling, refers to “clean energy technologies” such as wind and solar; “green” refers to “large-scale dedicated funding to protect our nation's wildlife and other natural resources from climate change”; and “fair” means that the U.S. must “particularly help those who are most vulnerable around the world.” The latter exortation stems from the premise that the polluting activities of industrialized nations have contributed heavily to climate change, which in turn has affected poor countries most adversely. Those impoverished populations, Schweiger reasons, should be compensated in some way for the climate-related hardships they have had to endure.
For additional information on Larry Schweiger, click here.