CCL’s Policy Objectives

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Citizens’ Climate’s mission is to create the political will for a livable world, and we won’t stop working until we have a healthy and stable climate.  We’ve never shied away from ambitious goals. CCL remains an organization that trusts experts, and experts agree that the world must meet science-based emissions targets that reduce the risks and impacts of a changing climate. We need to do that in a time frame that protects our society, our economy and those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And we know that we’ll need to go further, drawing down greenhouse gasses until the climate is healthy and stable.

While there are many frameworks that lay out the broad array of actions needed to address climate change, CCL chooses to focus its efforts on a few big solutions where we think we are best suited to making an impact. A wide array of solutions are needed but, by focusing our efforts, we can most effectively organize and leverage our network of engaged citizens.

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Why has CCL expanded its focus?

CCL has expanded its focus because we have the power to do more for the climate without diminishing our current efforts. 

Since 2009 we built CCL with a clear focus on Carbon Fee and Dividend (CF&D) as our main policy agenda. This has served us well as an organization and has also presented some challenges. 

We have now expanded our policy agenda to include an additional policy objective and we may add more in the future. In no way are we decreasing our efforts to pass Carbon Fee and Dividend. We’ll continue pushing for this strong climate policy because of the power carbon pricing has to reduce emissions.

And, we are adding policy objectives for a few reasons:

  1. We have the power. With the growth of CCL’s supporter base, we now have the capacity to take on additional objectives in a way that wasn’t possible even a few years ago. This will not change our commitment to staying focused as an organization and will enable our amazing volunteers to engage powerfully on a limited set of impactful policies.
  2. Strengthening CCL. A broader agenda makes CCL stronger and more effective. This will increase our ability to build political will and enact key climate solutions like Carbon Fee and Dividend.
  3. Enhancing relationships in Congress. A broader agenda helps support our relationships with members of Congress. For those who are already supportive of Carbon Fee and Dividend, it will allow us to continue building the relationships around other objectives. For those who are not yet supportive of CF&D, other objectives can provide an alternate way to engage and build trust and support. 
  4. A broader and more engaged base. A broader agenda helps us engage a broader grassroots and grasstops base. We are hoping that our objectives can resonate across the political spectrum and allow for engagement in red and blue districts/states as well as in cities, towns and rural communities. This further supports our relationships in Congress.
  5. Complementary climate solutions. While CF&D is a powerful climate solution it is not enough on its own. By adding objectives to our agenda we can drive greater emissions reductions faster.
What are our current policy focuses?

At our June 2022 conference, Executive Director Madeleine Para outlined our key policy focus areas. She outlined two overarching areas where we will focus: building the clean energy economy and nature-based climate solutions.

Within those two areas we currently have two main policy objectives:

Carbon Fee & Dividend - Carbon Fee and Dividend remains central to our efforts. Carbon pricing is one of the most effective climate policies and one that we believe will be essential in any complete solution to climate. 

Preserving and Growing Forests - Forests have the potential to offset emissions and draw down carbon from the atmosphere, as well as help us adapt to a changing climate, for example by reducing temperature and the effects of rising heat especially in urban areas. Forests also have great potential for bipartisan support and can help with moving Congress towards greater action. We expect to engage on forest related issues at the federal, state, and local levels, including very hands-on projects.

What might the future hold? 

CCL is still working to solidify the specific policy choices we will advocate for underneath the broader categories of building the clean energy economy and nature-based climate solutions.

A lot is in flux right now politically and so our policy evaluation process will continue as we evaluate the political landscape. We will continue to look for federal policies that can pass under existing dynamics in Congress, as well as policies that help move Congress towards greater and greater action. Locally we will support volunteers in engaging on aspects of clean energy and nature-based policy appropriate to their local political dynamics.

If you would like to provide input into this process, you can join CCL’s Strategic Planning Action Team where Tony Sirna leads discussions on policy choices and other strategy issues on monthly calls. You can also email Tony at tony@citizensclimate.org

How has CCL engaged with stakeholders and experts?

We worked, and continue to work, to include our most important stakeholders in this process which are our volunteers, staff and board members.

We also  consulted a long list of outside experts from the following broad categories, asking for their thoughts on policy priorities:

  • Climate Scientists
  • Economists and Energy Modelers
  • Policy Thought Leaders
  • Climate Organizations and Advocates
  • EcoRight Orgs and Leaders
  • Environmental Justice Advocates
  • Former and Current Members of Congress
  • Business Leaders
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Join CCL’s Strategic Planning Action Team where Tony Sirna leads discussions on this topic and other strategy issues on monthly calls. 

Discussion Topic
Volunteers can submit their thoughts here on CCL’s future policy agenda. Every submission is read by our V.P. of Organizational Strategy Tony Sirna
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