Citizens’ Climate Lobby - Pushing for a price on carbon globally

This blog post provides an update to Dana Nuccitelli’s article from June 2013 about Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) as a lot has happened in the almost four years since it was published.The basics about CCL as explained in Dana’s post haven’t changed and because of that won’t be repeated here.

In 2013, CCL had been active mostly in the U.S. and Canada and the rest of the world didn’t yet play much of a role as shown in this snippet from Dana’s article:

“CCL is also exploring the possibility of launching some UK chapters. Although the UK is part of the European carbon cap and trade system, that system is experiencing difficulties, and CCL aims to maintain UK support for carbon pricing.”

Worldwide presence and impressive number

But, as this current map illustrates, CCL has by now gone global and has chapters on all continents except Antarctica:


Blue pins designate active chapters and yellow pins show chapters in development. Link to live map

The following video is a snippet from last year’s CCL conference in Washington D.C. and gives a glimpse of why people from around the world are joining this effort to get a meaningful price on carbon:

And it’s not just the number and locations of chapters! CCL has grown in leaps and bounds since Dana published his article in 2013. Here are some numbers to illustrate this point:

The group shots on Capitol Hill from the annual conference in Washington D.C. have become quite impressive:


Source: CCL homepage

Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. 

One achievement of CCL in the U.S. is the helping hand CCL volunteer Jay Butera gave to establish the Climate Solutions Caucus. It is a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. The caucus was founded in February of 2016 by two south-Florida representatives Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) who now serve as co-chairs of the caucus (Read the back story of how this caucus came about). Recently the number of caucus members has grown to 38 - at the end of March 2017 the number was 34 who are pictured here:


Source: CCL homepage

This caucus is a sign that bipartisan collaboration regarding climate change still seems to be possible in the U.S. even if the current administration’s main thrust is to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on human-caused global warming. It however remains to be seen if this caucus will actually have an effect on how Congress votes on any contentious upcoming climate-related legislation.

Lobby days in Canberra, Australia

Just a few weeks ago, CCL in Australia organised Lobby Days in Canberra and met with more than 30 MPs. Here is a group shot - admittedly not quite the crowd as in D.C. – but just as committed a group assembled at the top of the marble stairs outside the parliament building (and if you look closely, you’ll spot fellow SkS team member Glenn Tamblyn among them):


Source: CCL Australia homepage

Developments in Europe and Germany

In Europe we currently have groups in Sweden (5 active, 1 in development), in the U.K. (1 active, 3 in development), in  Germany (3 active, 2 in development), as well as 1 each in development in Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Poland and Serbia. To co-ordinate CCL work in Europe we have a weekly conference call to keep each other updated about happenings in each of our countries and to learn about new developments from across the globe. We are in regular contact with CCL’s Global Strategy director Joe Robertson who keeps us in the loop about activities in the U.S. and globally. Joe tries to join our weekly EU-wide calls whenever his time allows.

For my part, I first became involved with CCL in Germany when Dana e-introduced me to Nils Petermann in April 2014. Nils had brought the idea of CCL with him when he moved back from Washington D.C. to Germany a couple of years ago and was keen to find likeminded people to help spread the idea of carbon pricing in Germany and Europe. Since then, we’ve established three active chapters in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg and currently have some others still in development. 

We organise a monthly video-call for CCL in Germany and we will meet for our 3rd annual conference in Berlin at the end of May. We have workshops planned for the weekend and have already scheduled about a dozen meetings with members of our German parliament, their staffers or some other relevant groups for May 29 and 30.

Here is a picture from our meeting in May 2016 taken in front of the German Reichstag, our parliament building in Berlin:

CCL-DE BerlinCredit: CCL Germany

What makes Citizens’ Climate Lobby quite unique is that it gives people like “you and me” a chance to get actively involved with climate change legislation in our countries. It’s also not just about interacting directly with politicians to get them at the very least interested in putting an effective price on carbon emissions. We for example also practice how to effectively write letters to the editor (LTEs) which in turn have a much higher chance of getting published. This is a surprisingly good means to make ourselves heard as e.g. MPs do read those letters to get an idea of the topics which are of interest to their constituents.

Further information

For further information about the group, see CCL's About page, follow its local chapters on Facebook and the main group on Twitter, and consider attending its annual conference in Washington D.C. in June.

Posted by BaerbelW on Friday, 12 May, 2017

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