Benji Backer

40 under 40-2021 Benji Backer
Benji BackerCourtesy of Benji Backer
  • Age
  • Title
    Founder and President
  • Company
    American Conservation Coalition

Benjamin “Benji” Backer is out to change the minds of people who think “conservative” and “climate change advocate” don’t belong in the same sentence, let alone the same job title. Backer, who founded the American Conservation Coalition in 2017, helped organize a conservative climate summit with 25 Republican members of Congress in February and hosted the first ever conservative climate rally in Miami, in June. That same month, House Republicans formed the Conservative Climate Caucus, a move Backer said his organization was instrumental in helping accomplish. ACC has more climate initiatives on the way, including planting trees, restoring wetlands, and protecting coral reefs. “Climate change often is the number one issue for young generations, yet one of the biggest frustrations for young people is that it has been so politicized,” Backer told Fortune. “This is not a political issue or a partisan issue—this is a human issue.”