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Heroines for the Planet: Honoring a ‘Force of Nature’ and Rainforest Action Network’s Leader Becky Tarbotton

Posted Dec 30 2012 11:28am

Environmental heroine Rebecca Tarbotton died tragically on Wednesday, December 26th. Rebecca was the Executive Director of San Francisco-based environmental group Rainforest Action Network.

“RAN is heartbroken by our loss of Becky, but we are committed to continuing the course that she set for us,” Nell Greenberg, the group’s spokeswoman, said. “Focusing on our core purpose of protecting forests, moving the country off of fossil fuels and defending human rights through bold, effective, and innovative environmental corporate campaigns.”

Michael Brune, former Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network and current President of the Sierra Club, mourned the loss of a dear friend and reflected on her legacy.

“Becky reshaped Rainforest Action Network, and was a force against deforestation and corporate greed. She was a rising star.”

  • Rebecca was the first woman ever to lead Rainforest Action Network.
  • Tarbotton went toe to toe with some of the nation’s most powerful CEOs to lead RAN to one of its most important victories of the past decade: the creation of a sector-wide bank policy statement known as the Carbon Principles. The policy put limits on the financing of new coal-fired power plants, creating a pivotal moment in the battle to curtail the construction of 200 planned new coal plants.
  • Tarbotton recently brokered an agreement with the Walt Disney Company that changed the way the entertainment giant uses paper.
  • Under Tarbotton’s leadership, RAN achieved tremendous victories in preserving endangered rainforests and the rights of their indigenous inhabitants.
  • Rebecca tirelessly championed pushing the country’s biggest corporate polluters to reform their ways.
  • One of her proudest achievements was helping build a local women farmer’s alliance from a membership of seven women to a whopping 4,000 members.

“We need more women to be leading environmental organizations, and losing a leader and friend like Becky is especially painful,” said Brune.

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