2024 Policy Roadmap
Behind the wheel
As a grassroots advocacy group with 220,000 supporters and 381 chapters, we’re driving climate action in Congress all year long.
Power in the 118th Congress is split between the parties: Republicans control the House, and Democrats control the Senate, both with slim majorities. So far this Congress, we have seen that configuration lead to some encouraging bipartisan collaboration.
It’s also important to note that 2024 is an election year. This year, there’s an election for every House seat, many Senate seats, and for President, which will draw huge attention and turnout. Congress will focus on campaigning between August and November 5, 2024 (Election Day), so not much legislating will happen during that period. With this in mind, we can push for climate policy progress at appropriate times during the year, and we can also use campaign season as an opportunity to bump climate action higher on every lawmaker’s priority list.
The overall political atmosphere will also feel even more partisan as Election Day approaches. That means our respectful, nonpartisan approach to climate advocacy is especially vital.
In the fast lane
Our work this year will happen in a few major lanes on the advocacy highway: carbon pricing, clean energy permitting reform, healthy forests, building electrification and efficiency, and election season. You’ll find opportunities to take action in all of them during 2024, but we anticipate the most policy movement on clean energy permitting reform and healthy forests.
CCL staff will give you guidance about when and how to take specific actions, so that all chapters and volunteers are headed in the same direction. You will see that guidance through the monthly Climate Action Program emails, the monthly Action Sheets, and in our monthly meetings.
Beyond that, you may change lanes according to what’s most exciting to your chapter, relevant to your community, or important to your member of Congress. We’ll see how the road trip goes! (Just, you know, use your blinker.)
Activities along the way
Move over, license plate game. Here’s what we plan to do on this road trip:
- Push for a permitting reform package - In 2023, we engaged heavily on clean energy permitting reform with emails, calls and lobby meetings throughout the year. Some permitting reforms passed in the June 2023 debt ceiling deal, and further opportunities emerged with the introduction of the BIG WIRES Act. The BIG WIRES Act is unlikely to move as a standalone bill — it’s much more likely to pass as part of a larger legislative package. We will keep building support for a comprehensive permitting reform package and watch for opportunities to include permitting legislation in a broader spending package.
- Advance the conversation on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms (CBAMs) - The CBAM conversation leapt forward in 2023. The PROVE IT Act was introduced, laying groundwork for a carbon border adjustment mechanism. Two Senate Republicans put forward the Foreign Pollution Fee Act. Democrats in the House and Senate reintroduced the Clean Competition Act. We will continue to educate ourselves about this type of carbon pricing and advance the conversation to build more support in Congress. This kicks off with a fresh training on CBAMs in January, and we’ll offer more opportunities for education and engagement throughout the year.
- Elevate climate during the primary elections - For most districts, the primary elections are your best chance to elevate climate-friendly candidates from either party. Primary season will be your first opportunity to ask climate questions at candidate events and town halls and to publish local media encouraging the candidates to engage on climate issues. It’s important that we encourage 2024 congressional candidates from any party to have stronger, more committed stances on climate action.
- Build in-district support for carbon fee and dividend - The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act was reintroduced in the House in 2023, and to advance this legislation — and the idea of carbon fee and dividend generally — we need to demonstrate even more support in our communities. Keep talking about this policy at tabling events and gathering Energy Innovation Act constituent letters. Sometime this spring, plan a drop-off of those letters to your representative’s district office.
- Advocate for climate policy in the Farm Bill - The Farm Bill is a big, diverse package of legislation that comes up for renegotiation and renewal once every five years. It should have expired in 2023, but near the end of the year, Congress passed an extension through September 2024. CCL will engage throughout the year to include relevant climate policy in this package, like the Increased TSP Access Act and healthy forest policies, and to defend already allocated climate-smart agriculture and forestry funding.
- Educate about electrification - The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed in 2022, includes all sorts of incentives designed to increase access to clean technology in our homes. Most of those incentives are already available, and the rest will become available in the second half of 2024. We can educate ourselves and our communities about those opportunities and help speed the process of electrifying buildings nationwide. CCL’s Electrification Action Team is active in this work, as well as advocating for local and state policies that promote electrification. Another way to advocate for electrification is by supporting things like the School Electrification Challenge, an ongoing effort led by CCL’s National Youth Action Team.
- Get out the environmental vote - A key way we can ensure Congress prioritizes climate change is by getting environmentalists to the polls. But lots of environmentalists don’t vote! To make sure they turn out, we will encourage people at our tabling events to register and to vote, and we will be phone banking, postcarding and canvassing alongside our friends at Environmental Voter Project all year long. And of course, we’ll be sure to vote early or turn up to the polls on Election Day ourselves!
- Lean in during the lame duck period - The 2024 election results may shift the balance of power in Congress for 2025. In the last few weeks of Congress, before that shift takes place in January, there may be additional opportunities to help push some climate policy over the finish line.
- Conservative Climate Conference & Lobby Day - In March, right-of-center CCLers will gather together in Washington, D.C., to connect with each other and to meet with Republican members of Congress about climate policy.
- Summer Conference & Lobby Day - This is CCL’s biggest annual show of grassroots force, when volunteers come to Washington, D.C., from every state in the nation to learn together and then hold hundreds of in-person citizen lobby meetings on Capitol Hill. The specific focus for these meetings will be determined closer to the date.
- Inclusion Conference - Our strength as a grassroots coalition comes from our cultural and political diversity. This annual event helps us connect across our differences, making our organization as “big tent” and welcoming as possible, so that we can make a big impact in our communities and on our congressional representatives.
- Fall Conference & Lobbying - Another conference and nationwide round of lobbying late in the year — this time virtual — gives us another chance to send Congress a big, clear message and advance our policy priorities
- Regional & state conferences - Throughout the year, CCL regions may organize their own regional or state conferences and lobby days to further grow their local grassroots and apply additional pressure to lawmakers to act.
Get ready to hit the road