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What is Environmental Politics?

The study of political theories and ideas related to the environment; the examination of the environmental stances of both mainstream political parties and environmental social movements; and the analysis of public policymaking and implementation affecting the environment, at multiple geo-political levels.

Why is it important?

During his last year in office, President John F. Kennedy embarked on a five-day journey across the United States to talk about the conservation of natural resources. In a speech at the University of North Dakota on Sept. 25, 1963, he stated: “So we come on this trip to remind the American people of what they have, and to remind the people of what they must do to maintain it”. As it emerged on the public agenda, the environment became subject to the actions of politicians and others within the American political system. The American president, Congress, interest groups, citizens and each state all play a role in shaping environmental policy. For instance, where some presidents have pushed conservation, others have promoted a pro-development approach that reduces regulations on business and industry.
Source – Old Dominion University: Quest.

What Can You Do to be More Informed?

  • Look at the stances of the political leaders in your state. For North Carolina leaders, you can find their stances at On The Issues.
  • Visit North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s official website to read about his stances.
  • Environment North Carolina is a Democrat-affiliated political action group centered around environmental issues in North Carolina. Learn more about their current projects.
  • ConservAmerica is a Republican-affiliated political action group for nation-wide environmental issues. Learn about their mission.
  • Read about current and past news about environmental health in North Carolina at North Carolina Health News.

What Could Your Event Look Like?

  • Host an event where you give out “political report cards” concerning the environment for the upcoming local election!
  • Have an “environment in politics” trivia night! How much do you and your residents know?


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