Benji Backer

Founder, Author, Conservative Environmentalist

About Benji

Benji Backer is Founder and Executive Chairman of the American Conservation Coalition (ACC), the largest right-of-center environmental organization in the country, and the author of The Conservative Environmentalist: Common Sense Solutions for a Sustainable Future. A graduate of the University of Washington, Benji has been awarded the Fortune 40 Under 40, Forbes 30 Under 30, GreenBiz 30 Under 30, and Grist 50. He serves as a Board member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Climate Change Commission, the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, and BridgeUSA. A frequent contributor to national media outlets, Benji is one of the leading youth environmental voices in the country. Above all, Backer is an avid outdoorsman who spends most of his free time in the mountains out West.

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New Book:

The Conservative Environmentalist

Politicians, pseudo-experts, and other partisans have led us to believe that there are only two  approaches to climate change: doomerism or denial. Benji Backer, Executive Chairman and Founder of the American Conservation Coalition, argues that both are dead ends. In The Conservative Environmentalist, he delivers an entirely new strategy to take care of the planet while putting put the  economic interest of the American people first.  

Backer makes the compelling case that conservative principles are the key to climate solutions that  actually work. In this book, you’ll visit the country’s most diverse ecosystems and consequential  manufacturing hubs—from Utah coal mines and Texas oil fields to Louisiana wetlands and Rhode Island  offshore wind farms—witnessing the power of individual entrepreneurship and local problem-solving.  You’ll be inspired by groundbreaking efforts to strengthen earth’s ecosystems (that Green New Dealers  and other Big Government advocates would prefer to keep hidden), like partnerships between oil and gas  companies and environmental nonprofits to preserve thousands of acres of wetlands.  

Drawing on cutting-edge science, a deep understanding of local community needs, and his experience rallying politicians on both sides of the aisle to take action, Backer offers hope for everyone who cares about the state of the great outdoors. Fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises, The Conservative Environmentalist is the fresh, audacious approach needed to ensure a sustainable future, and particularly one that works for America.

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Praise For The

The Conservative Environmentalist is an essential read that shows how protecting our natural resources and advancing America’s national interests are mutually-reinforcing goals. When I was Governor of California, nobody believed that Republicans cared about the environment until we did the work of creating one million solar roofs, cutting our emissions, and inspiring a clean car revolution with incentives — all while keeping our economy strong. I hope this book will help inspire the conservative movement's return to its conservationist roots.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER Former governor of California and author of Be Useful

The Conservative Environmentalist is a must-read that finally showcases how conservatives can (and must) return to their conservation and environmentalist roots. Uncovering ways to tackle environmental challenges via sensible conservative values, this book is a breath of fresh air for those of us who have been left behind by the current unproductive and radical environmental dialogue. Despite his young age, Benji has been an integral voice for the conservative movement for many years — and by building the conservative environmental movement — he will undoubtedly continue to do so for years to come.

DAVE RUBIN New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Burn This Country

Finally, a book on climate action that won't make you want to bury your head in a compost pile! Backer not only shuns alarmism, but also shows how economic prosperity and environmental protection go hand-in-hand. 

The Conservative Environmentalist takes readers on a journey through the trials, triumphs, and opportunities involving Earth's battle for a brighter future. Full of pragmatic solutions, this book resets the entire conversation and will be a generational force for years to come. Supporters will be energized. Skeptics will learn a lot. And detractors will have no option but to confront it head-on.

KONSTANTIN KISIN Bestselling author and host of the Triggernometry podcast

The Conservative Environmentalist is a critical blueprint for the future of climate action. Benji offers a striking vision for safeguarding our planet that cuts through the noise and nonsense. Filled with actionable and original ideas, backed by bipartisan collaboration, this is the work of a cheerful warrior who’s also realistic and determined. It is an indispensable resource for all Americans who yearn for a cleaner, safer planet.

VAN JONES CNN host and New York Times bestselling author

Amidst the divisive and unproductive climate-change discussion, The Conservative Environmentalist is a breath of fresh air. In this page-turning book, Benji offers pragmatic solutions for boosting the economy and protecting natural resources that will excite Americans of all political stripes, demonstrating that “clean,” “green,” and “sustainable” need not be dirty words. This book—packed with fascinating American history, touching personal anecdotes, and brilliant insights—is the essential guide for what must be done now to ensure a much better tomorrow.

JEREMY JONES Professional snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters

The Conservative Environmentalist bravely steers the ship of reason between the two pillars of denial and existential angst, deftly avoiding the siren calls of fossil fuel devotion and renewables-only fantasy, to arrive at a sensible solution to our climate and energy woes. Tribalists seeking confirmation of their prejudices should look elsewhere.

KERRY EMANUEL Professor of atmospheric science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

It’s amazing what’s possible when we embrace technological innovation and unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit. I’m grateful to Benji for highlighting the many real, free-market climate solutions that must play a role in securing a more clean, affordable, and reliable energy future for the next generations. His conservative approach to tackling this critically important issue is a refreshing addition to the national conversation.

CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS (R-WA) US representative for Washington’s fifth congressional district

In the News

The View

Why Activist Benji Backer Says We Need to Change the Narrative on Climate Change.


Conservative environmentalist discusses the politics of climate change.

The Hill

Conservatives DO CARE About Climate Change, Some Young GOPers Are TRYING To Change The Narrative.

Fox News

Conservative Approaches Are Key To Climate Solutions.

New York Post

How the government is hurting environmentalism.

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