Climate Matters: Episode 3 (Terry Tamminen)

Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and former California EPA Secretary discusses the state of climate change policy and the revitalized role of subnational governments and philanthropic organizations.  Program highlights include insights on the Trump Administration's understanding of climate change issues, the impacts of recent rollbacks of Obama era policies, and strategies for international and state level efforts.

About Terry Tamminen

As the CEO for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Terry Tamminen oversees the grant partnerships, which range from major environmental conservation organizations to local partners who are fighting to protect and defend vital ecosystems and species that are gravely impacted by the global environmental crisis caused by climate change. From his youth in Australia to career experiences in across the globe, Tamminen has developed expertise in business, farming, the environment, and the arts. 

In the summer of 2003, Terry helped Arnold Schwarzenegger win the historic recall election and become Governor of California. He was appointed as the Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency in November 2003 and was later appointed Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor. During his service in state government, Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative.


Terry left state government in late 2006 in order to help other states and world governments adopt clean energy and sustainability policies based on California’s successes.  In February 2007, he founded the non-profit organization Seventh Generation Advisors (SGA). SGA’s strategy is to create a “bottom up” approach, rather than waiting for policy from the top. This strategic approach has proven successful, and since 2007, Terry and SGA convinced many states and provinces to copy California policies and other “best practices” on clean energy and climate policy. 

In 2010 Terry co-founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a new public-private partnership to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon and climate resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy.

An accomplished author, Terry's latest book, Watercolors: How JJ the Whale Saved Us, shares his remarkable true story of the rescue of JJ, a one-day-old gray whale that was found abandoned in Marina del Rey, California.  His previous book, Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy (Palgrave), shows how to find the low carbon products and services that save money, get ahead of regulations, and preserve resources for generations to come. Terry’s former book, Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction (Island Press), is a timely examination of our dependence on oil and a strategy to evolve to more sustainable energy sources. He has also authored a series of best-selling “Ultimate Guides” to pools and spas (McGraw-Hill) and several theatrical works on the life of William Shakespeare. Terry is an avid airplane and helicopter pilot and speaks German, Dutch and Spanish.  Terry is also a regular blogger for and Mother Nature Network.