Mark Abbott navigates the ups and downs of backing activist causes, even when they’re aligned with your charity’s core mission

For many years, environmental charities have campaigned tirelessly to build public awareness of the challenges faced by humanity as a result of climate change.

However, over the past year the civil disobedience campaigns of Extinction Rebellion and the school climate strikes instigated by Greta Thunberg have helped to generate the mainstream public recognition that this existential crisis deserves.

Protecting the environment is a charitable purpose – and more than 3,500 registered charities refer to the environment in their governing documents.

But climate change isn’t just a priority for charities with environmental purposes. Trustees of other charities might reasonably believe avoiding climate change and e...

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