Weekly Briefing: Despite A Hot Year, Clean Energy Progress Offers A Positive Outlook For 2024
December 20, 2023
“The past year broke a plethora of climate and energy records — some bad, but some good,” says CCL Research Coordinator Dana Nuccitelli. For CCL’s last newsletter of 2023, Dana broke down a few of those records for us in a Nerd Corner post.
First, 2023 easily became the hottest year on record, and climate pollution from burning fossil fuels also set a record in 2023, pushing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels up to an annual average of nearly 420 parts per million.
“Despite all of that bad news, many countries are making progress towards reducing their climate pollution, and the outlook for 2024 is encouraging,” Dana says. “America’s climate pollution fell by about 2–3% compared to the previous year and is now 18–19% below 2005 levels. Emissions in the European Union fared even better, declining by about 6–7% in 2023 as the member nations accelerated their clean energy deployments.”
Progress on clean technology is expected to continue — and ramp up even further — in 2024 and beyond. Even China too is deploying solar panels and wind turbines at such a pace that they “could begin to displace the country’s fossil fuel consumption and start a structural decline in Chinese carbon emissions in 2024.”
The takeaway? “It’s possible that 2023 will become the year in which global climate pollution peaked,” Dana says. Let’s do everything we can to make that possibility a reality
Have a safe and restful end of the year, and we’ll see you in 2024!Read Dana's Full Post
In other news this week:
• CCL’s 2023 highlights: What a year! In 2023, we held hundreds of in-person and virtual lobby meetings, cheered bipartisan climate bills and other efforts, and conducted nonstop grassroots outreach all across the country. Watch our 2023 highlights from our December meeting, starting around the 30 minute mark.
• Americans are alarmed: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication released its latest public opinion numbers on global warming, finding that 56% of Americans are “alarmed” or “concerned” about global warming. That number has risen 16 percentage points over the last decade.
Take action this week
If you have a little time: Make a year-end donation to CCL. “It’s your support that’s allowed us to grow CCL into the grassroots force that it is,” CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds says in a new video. We’ve raised $787,307 toward our goal of $1.25 million. Make a year-end donation today so we can recruit, train and mobilize even more volunteer lobbyists to push Congress for major climate action.
If you have more time: Find the center of your chapter’s climate advocacy. CCL's December Action Sheet includes an exercise to help you determine where your chapter should focus its advocacy efforts in the coming year. Work together to explore questions like: What brings you joy and energizes you? What work are you good at? What work needs doing? Those answers will lead you to the “center” of your chapter’s advocacy, so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in 2024.
We want to feature your chapter!
As a grassroots organization, we love to see and celebrate what our volunteers are doing out in the field. Every climate conversation and creative event you hold in your community makes an impact!
That’s why we like to feature a local CCL chapter every week, right here in our national newsletter. Your work is moving the needle on climate action — you deserve to get some recognition for it
Since we began this segment earlier in 2023, we’ve featured 35 of our nearly 400 U.S. chapters, all marked on the map above. If you want your chapter to be featured in 2024, fill out this submission form or bookmark it for future reference.
Tell us what your chapter has been up to, and we’ll share your successes with the rest of our volunteers in the new year.
CCL trainings are taking a break for the winter holidays. If you're itching for info, take a look at these past sessions that will prepare you for policy opportunities coming up next year:
- Clean Energy Permitting Reform Updates and Q&A
- Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms & The PROVE IT Act
- Farm Bill Basics
To explore all our available trainings, visit the Training Topics page of CCL Community.
Nerd Corner Chart of the Week
Join the discussion about a new 66 million year reconstruction of carbon dioxide.