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

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.

About Lindsay E. Brown
Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the world's first sustainable living site for women. She created the long-running interview series “Heroines for the Planet” that features groundbreaking women who share courage and a deep passion for protecting people and the Earth. Lindsay previously served as Director of Communications at the social enterprise CBS EcoMedia where she was awarded CBS Corporation’s Share-the-Vision award. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, From The Grapevine, EarthHour.org, Eco-Age.com, and for environmentalist Laura Turner Seydel. Lindsay has been featured as an ethical fashion and beauty expert on Z Living and was named in Ecover’s “30 Under 30″ contest which recognized those who are making a sustainable difference in their community. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

One Comment

  1. RAN under each of its last three Executive Directors have actively promoted logging old-growth forests bit.ly/rainforest_heist despite science indicating doing so is collapsing the biosphere http://bit.ly/EIKeralaPaper . Don’t believe the RAN myth – getting Disney to use old-growth paper is no victory.

    Dr. Glen Barry

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