CCL Receives 2020 Keeling Curve Prize
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By CCL Communications Director Flannery Winchester
“We are thrilled to see our efforts honored in this way,” Citizens’ Climate Executive Director Mark Reynolds said. “Our staff and volunteers are working hard every day to make climate change a bridge between our two major political parties. Ultimately, we intend to support passage of the major, lasting, bipartisan policies required to reduce emissions and preserve a livable world. The prize money will help bring that vision to reality.”
Administered by the Global Warming Mitigation Project, the annual Keeling Curve Prize conducts a worldwide search for accomplished, scalable solutions with significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon uptake. With more than 300 applicants for the prize, they award $25,000 to the 10 most powerful solutions. The prize is named after scientist Charles David Keeling’s famous Keeling Curve, which has been showing an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere since 1958.
“We applied for the Keeling Curve Prize because it emphasized concrete successes in reducing carbon emissions and flattening the curve through the power of communities and individuals,” explains Lynate Pettengill, Senior Development Director for Citizens’ Climate. “It felt like a perfect fit with CCL because our volunteers have done exactly that. Their political power has led to legislative victories in New York, Washington D.C, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, and Canada, all of which are reducing emissions significantly.”
Citizens’ Climate was among 20 finalists announced in April 2020. Specifically, Citizens’ Climate was a finalist in the category of “Social & Cultural Pathways,” which considers projects that “are changing the way people consider, understand, and act concerning human impacts on planet Earth. They are trying to answer the question: what does it take, socially and culturally, to develop beyond fossil fuels?”
Citizens’ Climate, with its focus on bipartisan bridge-building and respectful, appreciative engagement of Congress, was ultimately a winner in this category. “The prize money from Keeling Curve will go to strengthening and growing our volunteer base so that the emissions reductions we’ve achieved so far are just the beginning,” Pettengill said. “Citizens' Climate won't stop until we've passed enough bipartisan policies to not only slow climate change, but to reverse it.”
The Keeling Prize 2020 awards ceremony took place the evening of July 27 (CCL's part in the presentation begins around the 23:00 minute mark), with presentations by climate leaders like Bill McKibben and Leah Thomas, climate journalists Jeff Berardelli and Justin Worland, and more. Winners were announced during the livestream and soon after on social media.