McKibben, Monbiot and Figueres have huge clout on Twittersphere

When journalist and environmentalist Bill McKibben founded the grassroots organization 350.org, nobody had heard of the Keystone XL pipeline and few were talking seriously about the need to divest from fossil fuels.

Today, a pipeline considered a shoe-in by the oil industry is long delayed and likely to never get built, while more than 220 institutions – from pension funds to universities to philanthropic foundations – have committed to take their money out of coal, oil and natural gas.


Given McKibben’s role in creating and leading this fast-growing movement, it may come as little surprise that the father of 350.org is the most influential Twitter user in the environmental community, according the Top 100 Eco-Influencers on Twitter ranking released today by Corporate Knights and Brandwatch, the social media analytics company.

Guardian columnist George Monbiot ranked a close second, followed by environmental activist and artist Irina Tikhomirova and Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

To determine the top 100 more than 100,000 Twitter users actively posting on green issues were studied, including mainstream individuals who have built a large following within the global environmental audience and professionals who work with and tweet about environmental issues. Each was awarded a “Green Score” on a scale of 1 to 100, calculated according to three different measurements: Authority, Audience and Activity. (See Top 100 list below, or click here to see it on twitter).


McKibben, for example, has 149,000 followers and actively posts. But he also has highly influential followers, which indicates his strong authority and influence in the environmental community. How many times his posts have been liked and commented on also impacts the final score.

“Social activism is one of the most powerful ways to build awareness, educate and affect change,” said Benj Pettit, Brandwatch data scientist. “The Top 100 Eco-Influencers reflect those who understand the power of social to influence and build support.”

Toby Heaps, chief executive of Corporate Knights, said the Top 100 list was created so people had an easy way to follow those with the “greenest street cred” on Twitter.

The highest-ranking Canadian was social activist and author Naomi Klein, who is joined on the list by Green Party leader Elizabeth May, best-selling author Margaret Atwood, environmental artist Franke James, activist Tzeporah Berman, economics professor Andrew Leach, federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, and green economy evangelist Jim Harris.

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore is among the highest-profile names on the list, along with actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and billionaire businessmen Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, Richard Branson and Bill Gates.

Journalists dominated the list, many of them having written for Corporate Knights in the past, including Monbiot, David Roberts of Vox (formerly Grist), freelancer Marc Gunther, Greentech Media editor Stephen Lacey, and Wall Street Journal columnist Christopher Mims.

Michael Mann, director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, was the top-ranked climate scientist at eighth place, followed by the Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick, IPCC vice-chair JPascal van Ypersele, and Gavin Schmidt at NASA.


PositionNameHandleBioLocationcPI Score
1Bill McKibben@billmckibbenAuthor, Educator, Environmentalist and Founder of http://t.co/Wy9Mw8NGD7Vermont94
2George Monbiot@georgemonbiot"I love not man the less, but Nature more" - Guardian columnist and environmentalist94
3Irina Tikhomirova@IrinaGreenVoiceMaster's in Environmental Protection/Greenpeace Online Activist. Digital artist,Dreamer,Veggie, Love our Planet,Tweet to inspire #SaveTheArctic #FreeTheArctic3092
4Christiana Figueres@CFigueresExecutive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Passionate about fighting climate change. Mother of two wonderful young ladies.Bonn, Germany92
5Judd Legum@JuddLegumEditor-in-chief @thinkprogress. Gchat: jlegum@gmail.com.Washington, DC92
6Al Gore@algoreFormer Vice-President, USNashville, TN92
7Kumi Naidoo@kuminaidooActivist. Humanist. Speaking truth to power. Greenpeace International Executive Director. Tweets by Kumi and his team.91
8Michael E.Mann@MichaelEMannClimate Scientist, Professor, and Director of Penn State Earth System Science Center. Author of Dire Predictions & The Hockey Stick and the Climate WarsPenn State University, PA91
9Svein T Veitdal@tveitdalTweeting Climate Change news and Climate Information English/Norwegian, IPCC, Director Klima 2020, former UN DirectorArendal, Norway91
10Diane N56@DianeN56The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat. ~Jacques Yves CousteauChampaign, IL91
11Richard Branson@richardbransonTie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at @virgin!91
12Andy Revkin@RevkinPursuing progress on a finite planet at @dotearth and http://Pace.edu/Academy The rest? Family, friends, songs: http://j.mp/revkinmusic http://veryfinelines.comHudson Valely, NY, USA90
13Christine Milne@senatormilneAustralian Greens Leader and Senator for Tasmania Authorised by Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600Hobart, Australia90
14David Roberts@drvoxSeattleite transplanted from Tennessee; now blogging for Vox about energy politics. Climate hawk, deficit dove.Seattle, WA90
15Caroline Lucas@CarolineLucasMP for Brighton Pavilion; Former Leader of the Green Party; MumBrighton90
16Josh Fox@gaslandmovieDirector of Gasland parts I and II, Artistic Director of International WOW Company. This twitter feed is mostly about Gasland. #banfracking #gorenewable90
17Ray Beckerman@RayBeckermanA NYC business lawyer, I tweet about law, social justice, human rights, nature, human & animal rights, the arts, ecology.New York NY (Forest Hills) USA90
18Calestous Juma@calestousHarvard Kennedy School Professor interested in science, technology and innovation for development. To follow is a privilege; to be followed is an honor.Cambridge, MA90
19Bill Gates@BillGatesSharing things I'm learning through my foundation work and other interests...Seattle, WA90
20Dusty Gedge@greenroofsukbiodiversity professional, green roof campaigner/designer,public speaker, ecosystems services and green roof trainer - indigenous people + justiceLondon89
21Yeb Sa_o@YebSanoClimate Change Commissioner; old soul; environmentalist; philosopher; father; nature lover; peace activist; revolutionaryPhilippines89
22James Murray@James_BGEditor of http://BusinessGreen.com - tweeting in a personal capacity, check out @BusinessGreen for the official feedLondon89
23John Pratt@Jackthelad1947Live simply so others can simply live. Climate change is a global emergency. Carbon pollution kills. Polluters should pay. Refugees need our support.Perth, Western Australia89
24Kate Sheppard@kate_sheppardReporter/enviro editor @HuffPostPol, VP of membership at @sejorg, and grad student at @AmericanU. Fan of the serial comma.Washington, DC89
25Julie Urlaub@TaigaCompanySustainability & Social Media Consultant - Founder of Taiga Company - Speaker - Author of The Business Sustainability Handbook - Mountain bike racer.Golden, Colorado89
26Naomi Klein@NaomiAKleinThey say I'm polarizing89
27Ivan Roberson@ivanrobersonWe do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. Ancient Indian Proverb #UniteBlueFlorida89
28FrackingTestSubject@gardencatladyArtist, Pacifist, I would love to see a peaceful, clean earth, with respect for all living beings.Texas89
29Green Bean@iamgreenbeanClimate change activist, conservationist, progressive, gardener. - Don't hate the media, become the media. - Jello BiafraCalifornia89
30Sunny Hundal@sunny_hundalWriter; journalist; Guardian & Al-Jazeera contributor; lecturer at Kingston Uni; activist; environmentalist; feminist. Only tweet currents affairs. Get my book!London89
31David Shiffman@whysharksmatterI am a marine biologist studying shark conservation and a blogger. I support science-based management and sustainable fishing, and do not support direct action.Miami, FL89
32Danielle Nierenberg@DaniNierenbergCo-Founder @Food_Tank. Email me: danielle@foodtank.org. Weekly E-Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/srFyPChicago, IL89
33Michael Pollan@michaelpollanAuthor of Cooked; Food Rules; In Defense of Food; The Omnivore's Dilemma; The Botany of Desire; A Place of My Own and Second Nature.Berkeley, CA89
34Mark Ruffalo@markruffaloActor/Director/HulkNYS89
35Brent Toderian@BrentToderianCity planner + urbanist, @TODUrbanWORKS; former Vancouver Chief Planner; President of @CanUrbanism; CBC Radio columnist; writer/speaker/teacher/city-maker.Vancover, BC, Canada89
36Eric Holthaus@EricHolthausAmerica's weather-predicting boyfriend' @Awl - Born at 340.1 ppm - Meteorologist, nerding it up @slate & @viceViroqua, WI89
37Igor Volsky@igorvolskyManaging Editor at @ThinkProgress. E-mail: ivolsky@americanprogress.orgWashington, DC89
38Elizabeth May@ElizabethMayLeader of Green Party, MP - Saanich-Gulf Islands, activist, author & mother. Tweets are Elizabeth's unless signed by Hill Staff - @MayElizabethSidney, British Columbia88
39Kees Van der Leun@Sustainable205027 years of dedication to sustainable energy: consultant, bus dev, mgr, strategist, and climate hawk. COO @Ecofys. 100% renewable energy is possible in 2050!Netherlands88
40Dominic Dyer@domdyer70Writer, broadcaster, campaigner passionate about farming and food, wildlife and conservation and relations between America and Europe.UK88
41Damian Carrington@dpcarringtonI'm head of environment at the GuardianLondon88
42Christopher N. Fox@ChristopherNFoxHusband/Dad. Work at Ceres on sustainability, climate change, clean energy - http://www.Ceres.org - @CeresNews @INCRnews @BICEPnews @GISRnews - tweets=mineBoston88
43Peter Gleick@PeterGleickPacific Institute; sustainability; climate/water scientist; member National Academy of Science, MacArthur Fellow; author of Bottled and Sold. Tweets are my own.Bay Area, California88
44Juan Cole@jricolePublic intellectual: Global affairs, Environment, Human Rights, Progressive Politics, Poetry & Literature, Pop Culture, SpiritualityAnn Arbor, Michigan, USA88
45Scott Ludlam@SenatorLudlamAuthorised by Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 260088
46Alice Stollmeyer@StollmeyerEUEU energy & climate policies | Advocating good governance, adequate measures & urgent action to protect Earth for present & future generationsBrussels, Europe88
47Zaid Jilani@ZaidJilaniFormerly @thinkprogress, @unitedrep, @boldprogressive. Now @SyracuseU grad student Love cats, the South, and cheesecake. Graduating June 2014!United States88
48Mike Bloomberg@MikeBloombergEntrepreneur, Former Mayor of New York City, Philanthropist.New York City88
49Leonardo DiCaprio@LeoDicaprioActor and EnvironmentalistLos Angeles, CA88
50Clara Jeffery@ClaraJefferyCo-editor of Mother Jones. Mom. One very tired lady. (Hats via @darth)_T: 37.770364,-122.41035188
51Richard Florida@Richard_FloridaDirector, @MartinProsperiT University of Toronto, Global Research Professor NYU, Editor at Large @AtlanticCities88
52Natalie Ben@nataliebenLeader of Green Party of England and WalesLondon87
53Connie Hedegaard@CoHedegaardI am former EU Commissioner for Climate Action | This feed is personally maintained by me | Everything here is quotable |Brussels87
54Margaret E. Atwood@MargaretAtwoodAuthorToronto87
55Laurel Davila@laureldavilacpa#Democrat #Feminist #Environmentalist #Humanist #LGBT Ally #CivilRights #Union #OFA #P2 #TopProg #UniteBlue #LibCrib #PDMFNBTustin and Irvine, California87
56Franke James@frankejamesBlacklisted' Artist/author. See Oh No Canada! in Washington DC and Do Not Talk about Climate Change in Calgary AlbertaToronto, Canada87
57Brad Plumer@bradplumerReporter at the Washington Post. On the apocalypse beat, more or less.Washington, DC87
58Elon Musk@elonmuskTesla, SpaceX, SolarCity & PayPalAU87
59Jamie Henn@Agent350http://350.org Co-founder and Communications DirectorSan Francisco87
60Mark Lynas@mark_lynasEnvironmentalist. Author of 'Nuclear 2.0', 'Six Degrees' & 'The God Species'. Visiting Fellow at Cornell Uni.Oxford86
61Alex Steffen@AlexSteffenI try to live well, have fun and be a good ancestor. Planetary Futurist in Residence at @IDEO; @planetarystory; @C02zero; @worldchanging. I block rudeness.San Francisco86
62Marc Gunther@MarcGuntherwriter on business and nonprofits, editor-at-large Guardian Sustainable Business US, blogger at http://nonprofitchronicles.comBethesda, MD86
63Sarah Kliff@sarahkliffI write for Vox. Formerly: Washington Post, Politico, Newsweek and, back in the day, Student Life. Health-care nerd. sarah@vox.comWashington, DC86
64JPascal van Ypersele@JPvanYperseleIPCC Vice-chair, physicist, UCLouvain Prof climatology, Royal Acad. Dedicated to policy-neutral, but relevant, assessments of climate issues to advance HumanityBelgium86
65Matthew Rimmer@DrRimmerIP Academic, ARC Future Fellow, @ANU_Law, ACIPA. #Copyright #Patent #TradeMark #FairIT4Oz #3DPrinting #Biotech #Medicine #Plainpacks #Cleantech #Climate #TPPAustralia86
66Andrew Leach@andrew_leachEnbridge Professor of Energy Policy @ualberta. Delightfully wonkish. Troll with cred. My writing is as dense as a bucket of bitumen.Edmonton, AB86
67Helen Clark@HelenClarkUNDPI'm Administrator @UNDP and former Prime Minister of #NewZealand, passionate about human #development world-wide.86
68Leo Hickman@LeoHickmanChief Adviser, Climate Change at @WWF_UK. Served 16 years at the Guardian. Author of A Life Stripped Bare, The Final Call, Will Jellyfish Rule the World?...86
69Adam Vaughn@adamvaughn_ukEditor of the Guardian's environment site (@guardianeco). Running addict. Email - firstname.lastname@theguardian.comLondon, UK86
70Kelly Rigg@kellyriggExecutive Director of GCCA (tck).I've been running campaigns for longer than I care to remember, many of them for Greenpeace. Tweets reflect personal views onlyAmsterdam86
71Greg Barker@GregBarkerUKFormer MP, Minister for Energy and Climate Change & Prime Minister's Climate Envoy but now Chair of London Sustainable Development CommissonEast Sussex86
72Christopher Mims@mimsTechnology columnist at @WSJ. Texan.Baltimore, Seattle, New York86
73Adam Bandt@adambandtMP for Melbourne & Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens. Authorised by Adam Bandt, 280 King St, Melbourne, VIC 3000.Melbourne86
74Dana Nuccitelli@dana1981Environmental scientist and risk assessor by day. Climate blogger at http://SkepticalScience.com and The Guardian by nightWest Sacramento, CA86
75Duncan Green@fp2pFrom Poverty to Power blog links and tweets from Oxfam's Senior Strategic Adviser, Duncan Green. Usual disclaimers.UK86
76Peter Burton@peteswildlifeall things nature and wildlife FB http://www.facebook.com/peter.burton.92351UK Yorkshire86
77Jim Harris@JimHarrisFormer Leader, Green Party of Canada. International Bestselling Author & Keynote SpeakerToronto, Canada86
78Alice Bell@alicebellWriter and researcher. Science, technology and the environment is my usual beat.London86
79Sebastien Duyck@duycksResearcher (Human Rights, #Arctic Governance Climate Negotiations) at @Arctic_Centre, project manager & blogger on #UNFCCC for @tcktcktck, life-long learnerBern, Switzerland86
80Gavin Schmidt@ClimateOfGavinClimate scientist, occasional juggler, even more occasional author, curious about how the world works.86
81Ben Goldsmith@BJGoldsmithFounder of green investment business, http://www.whebgroup.com, and executive producer of http://www.fireinbabylon.com.London85
82Mohamed Nasheed@MohamedNasheedMaldives' first democratically-elected President, Amnesty Intl's Prisoner of Conscience, UN's Champion of the Earth, Newsweek's World's 10 Best LeadersMaldives85
83Thomas Mulcair@ThomasMulcair Leader of Canada's New Democrats, Official Opposition http://www.npd.ca85
84Joss Garman@jossgarmanDeputy Political Director of @greenpeaceuk, but tweeting here in personal capacity. #freethearctic30London85
85Jim McClelland@SustMemeSustainable Futurist, Writer, Speaker. Ex-Editor & Founder sustain'. Clean + Green, CSR, Built Enviro, Smart Cities, Swarm Theory. http://sustmememagazine.com/UK84
86Stephen Lacey@Stphn_LaceySenior Editor at Greentech Media. Host of the Energy Gang podcast. Tweeting about energy, cleantech, the environment, media, politics and technology trends. (Oh, and writer of CK's Tech Savvy column)Washington, DC84
87Tzeporah Berman@TzeporahCampaigns for clean energy. Focused on tarsands & pipelines. Former co-director Climate Unit Greenpeace International. Co-founder ForestEthics. Author. Mom.Vancouver84
88Jo Confino@joconfinoJo Confino is an executive editor of the Guardian, chairman and editorial director of Guardian Sustainable Business and advisor to Guardian Media Group.London84
89Jeremy Leggett@JeremyLeggettEntrepreneur & writer on the energy crisis & climate change. I founded and chair Solarcentury & SolarAid so I could act as well as prattle.UK84
90Kate Galbraith@KateGalbraithJournalist @CALmatters. Alum of @TexasTribune, @nytimes, @TheEconomist. Co-author, The Great Texas Wind Rush.San Francisco, CA83
91Michael Liebreich@MLeibreichFounder & CEO, Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Non-exec, TfL. Professor, Imperial Coll. Entrepreneur, Olympic skier, Londoner, dad. All views personal.Notting Hill, London82
92Tom Steyer@TomSteyerCalifornia business leader. Philanthropist. Advanced energy advocate. Tartan tie enthusiast.San Francisco, CA82
93David Biello@dbielloHistory is a race between education and catastrophe: HG Wells. Me: Environment & Energy editor @sciam working on book about Anthropocene. All views my ownNew York, NY82
94Roger Harrabin@RHarrabinBBC Enviornment and Energy Analyst. Also interested in transport, cities, risk, sustainability - whatever that means82
95Alok Jha@alokjhaScience correspondent at the Guardian and BBC TV presenter. Currently stuck in Antartica with the Australaisan Antarctic Expedition 2013 for @GdnAntartica81
96Mark Tercek@MarkTercekPresident and CEO of The Nature Conservancy and author of Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. http://www.marktercek.comWashington, DC80
97John Elkington@volansjohnCo-founder, Environmental Data Services ('78), SustainAbility ('87) and Volans ('08). Author 18 books. Blogs @ Volans, CSRWire, Guardian, johnelkington dot com.London, UK78
98Steven Guilbeault@s_guilbeaultEnvironmentalist, writer when i can find the time and very proud dad!Quebec, Canada78
99Peggy Liu@shanghaipeggy@JUCCCE Chair. TIME Mag Enviro Hero. WEF Young Global Leader. The Hillary Step. China Business News: Top Innovative Business Leaders. Advisor to M&S, HP, FTSEShanghai74
100Bob Inglis@bobinglisExecutive Director of The Energy and Enterprise Initiative and @republicEn. Former Rep. from SC's 4th District. #AreYouEnSouth Carolina70

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