by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, Environment
Tags: , .

Even though there remains some lackluster enthusiasm for the creation of a .ECO top-level domain, the battle to decide who would control such an extension has been hard-fought between two groups: the Mikhail Gorbachev-backed Big Room and the Al Gore-backed Dot Eco LLC.

Both organizations have been going at it since 2009 – with Dot Eco LLC at one point even publicly slamming Big Room in a document outlining why their business model was ineffective and their leadership weak. “We wrote this paper to because we needed to set the record straight,” the document said. “Although we may ruffle some feathers, the stakes are too high for drawing- room niceties, particularly when Big Room has dropped all pretense of fair play.”

According to the Guardian, Gore’s group has now dropped their challenge. “As a non-profit we only have limited resources and we decided to focus them on our new global [Climate] Reality campaign,” a source told the paper. The website, has also been yanked and now simply re-directs to a top-level domain firm. Guess they couldn’t swallow their pride enough to link to

Why the white flag? The Guardian hints that it may be due to an upswell in support of Big Room’s bid – which gained Bill McKibben’s as a partner after he initially backed Gore’s Dot Eco LLC. The group plans on using the top-level domain as a “badge of commitment to sustainability” with full transparency into how each registrant is taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint. Think or as portals to a company or org’s sustainability initiatives. Of course, Joe Smith can also register the domain – but there will be requirements to fulfill and a “stringent accountability mechanism”.

You can check out the full details over on the site. The group plans to formally apply for the TLD this October with the potential for you, me, and XYZ to purchase our own .eco in early 2014.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Mike Shields (@MatchesMalone)

    This would probably be more of an issue if Global Warming, I mean Climate Change actually existed.

  • Dot Eco

    With ICANN’s announcement that the application window for new TLDs will be opening in January there has been an influx of media coverage directed at our bid for .ECO. The primary focus has been on the involvement of Mikhail Gobachev and Al Gore.

    While the references to these figures are inevitable we hope to bring the focus back to what .ECO is really about; uniting the international sustainability community to preserve an online space for years to come. Here’s our most recent post on the issue –