CCL Jan. Newsletter

CCL/CCE Conference, MacArthur Foundation grant, Media Success, Canada is back, and more.

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Citizens' Climate Lobby
CCL Newsletter, January, 2016

Table of Contents:
Report from Paris
2016 Spring Lobby Drive
CCL/CCE Conference
MacArthur grant
Media success with Paris op-ed 
Canada is back
CCLU: Tiny Chapters
January Call with Hahrie Han
Regional Conferences
Report from Paris: CCL brings citizens into the process of meeting global climate goals


CCL’s mission is to build political will for a livable world and empower citizen volunteers to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. Most nations in the world build their climate policies in response to the U.N. climate negotiating process, but there is no citizen engagement option there.

So in September 2014, in anticipation of the Lima and Paris climate conferences, CCL launched the Pathway to Paris Project, to open up a new civic space for citizen contributions to global climate policy.

The CCL team in Paris included 50 citizen volunteers (some of whom are shown in the photo above), some from other organizations or U.N. institutions, who traveled to Paris to support this mission in various ways. Our volunteers built the Citizens’ Voice reporting platform, worked on draft language for the agreement, advocated principles for carbon pricing, showed up in meetings at all levels, and helped to host a high-level dialogue to accelerate climate action.

We identified three overarching goals as indicators of a successful Paris Agreement:

  1. A strong global goal — such as full decarbonization or a 1.5°C upper limit for global average temperature rise.
  2. A strategy for carbon pricing — to make the meeting of that goal as quick and affordable as possible.
  3. A network for citizen engagement — to ensure transparency, moral coherence, fairness and ambition in climate policy.

After Paris, we have all three: The Paris Agreement opens a process for 1.5°C to become the new standard for assessing “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” which the U.N. Climate Convention mandates we avoid.Meeting that standard means decarbonizing at record pace.

On carbon pricing, we had two big wins: The Agreement sets standards in line with some of our proposed carbon pricing principles and, on the first day of the Paris talks, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition officially became a new global policymaking body. It brings together governments, U.N. institutions, NGOs and businesses — including some of the world’s largest oil companies. The mission is to help all nations find their way to efficient, effective, equitable carbon pricing, by 2020. CCL is a founding strategic partner.

On December 2, we officially launched the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network—the direct successor to the Pathway to Paris Project and a new platform for expanding the global civic space in the spirit of CCL’s local organizing activities. In 2016, the CCEN has the chance to become the standard for citizen participation in global processes.

 Joe Robertson, CCL Global Strategy Director


2016 Spring Lobby Drive

Building on the success of our lobbying in Washington last June and again in November, CCL is organizing a spring in-district lobby drive from March 24 through April 11. The aim of the drive is to organize meetings with congressional offices in their districts while members of Congress are on recess, thereby maximizing the chances of getting face-to-face meetings with senators and representatives.

The process will start with congressional liaisons, or someone designated in each chapter, requesting face-to-face meetings during the weeks of our drive. More details about the drive are available in this month’s action sheet, including instructions for coordinating among groups and a schedule of online training sessions.

Our focus on in-district meetings gives volunteers who are unable to travel to Washington the opportunity to participate in meetings with members of Congress. Groups will begin the process of scheduling and planning their lobbying at this month’s meetings, most of which are happening this Saturday. If you want to participate in the Spring Lobby Drive, we encourage you to attend your chapter’s meeting this month.

If you haven’t been participating with a CCL chapter, you can find the group nearest you on our website:

Register now to attend the CCE/CCL conference in Washington

Reflecting on our many successes in 2015 has me excited about what 2016 will bring. Last year, our International Conference and Lobby Day saw over 900 attendees with 800 citizen lobbyists meeting with 487 offices on Capitol Hill. This year promises to be bigger and more inspiring than ever before!

There are two registration options for the 2016 CCE/CCL International Conference and Lobby Day. You only need to register once: one option registers you for the conference only, and the other option registers you for both the conference and lobby day.

  • Option 1: Conference only, Sunday & Monday, June 19-20
  • Option 2: Conference and Lobby Day, Sunday – Tuesday, June 19-21

At the Conference, participants will hear from inspiring speakers and receive the training to be game-changing communicators on the issue of climate change.

During our Lobby Day, citizen lobbyists will do what CCL does best: have conversations that lead to the breakthroughs necessary to enact effective climate solutions. We expect more meetings this year, but lobbying space is still limited. The deadline to register is when we reach capacity or May 31, 2016, whichever happens first.

We on CCL staff are still planning all of the exciting events and confirming speakers for June, and we will continue to update the schedule as details are finalized. But I invite you to mark your calendars and register now, and then begin planning how you will contribute to CCL’s breakthroughs in D.C. in June!

I hope to see you in D.C.!

— Ashley Hunt-Martorano, CCL Director of Marketing & Events

CCE receives MacArthur grant


We’re delighted to announce that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has offered its generous support to Citizens’ Climate Education! Since its 1970 founding, the MacArthur Foundation’s commitment to creating a more “just, verdant, and peaceful world” has made it one of the nation’s preeminent grantmaking institutions, and we are exceptionally grateful to have been selected for support under its Climate Solutions program.

“We’re grateful, not only for the generous funding the MacArthur Foundation is providing, but also for their acknowledgement that Citizens’ Climate Education’s work to educate and empower citizens about climate solutions is vital to the mission of preserving a livable world for future generations,” said Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE) and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

By offering a $500,000 grant to be disbursed over 2 years, the MacArthur Foundation has greatly strengthened CCE’s capacity to spread the word about climate change and climate change solutions.

The MacArthur Foundation’s Climate Solutions program is one of the “big bets”announced in August of 2015 by MacArthur President Julia Stasch. Such large commitments, Ms. Stasch said, “strive toward transformative change in areas of profound concern. This is not a search for quick fixes or easy wins, but an all-in, timely commitment—of talent, resources, time, and reputation—to real change that matters for many, many people.”

The Foundation’s climate strategy proceeds from the understanding that “no climate change solution can reasonably be achieved without the U.S. taking significant steps.” Consistent with CCE’s preferred climate solutions, the Foundation names “placing a price on carbon” as one possible avenue for the necessary American climate leadership.

With the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Citizens’ Climate Education can help to make 2016 the biggest year ever for national climate action!

Media success with Paris op-ed


Following the conclusion of the climate accord in Paris last month, CCL released an op-ed from Executive Director Mark Reynolds – After historic Paris agreement, U.S. must lead climate efforts by pricing carbon – and our volunteers sprang into action submitting Mark’s piece to newspapers throughout the country.

As of this week, the op-ed has been published in 32 papers, including the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, and the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Here’s an excerpt from Mark’s piece:

Leadership from the United States is needed to marshal global efforts against carbon pollution. Right now, unfortunately, that leadership is less than inspiring.

Forced by a recalcitrant Congress to take matters into his own hands, Obama initiated the Clean Power Plan, which uses Environmental Protection Agency regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at power plants. The EPA rules have met with stiff opposition from congressional Republicans, and both the House and the Senate have passed resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act.

But instead of just saying “no” to the Clean Power Plan, Republicans could offer a market-based alternative that would eliminate the need for EPA regulations. By placing a fee on carbon and returning the revenue to American households, we can incentivize a clean-energy economy without increasing the size of government. Meanwhile, applying border tariffs to imports from nations that lack an equivalent price on carbon will protect American businesses and provide the incentive for all nations to establish a price on carbon — the single biggest step a country can take to meet its climate goals.

Our latest numbers from field reports show that in 2015 CCL volunteers generated 518 op-eds, 2,936 letters to the editor and 310 articles. They also held 68 meetings with editorial boards at newspapers. Congratulations to all involved!

Canada is back at the climate solutions table


After nearly two decades of international negotiations, the Paris Agreement set into motion an ambitious global process of accelerated action to avoid catastrophic changes in our global climate.

Happily, Canada is back at the table after receiving a Lifetime Unachievement Award in 2013 from the Climate Action Network for climate inaction. Canada’s delegation in Paris included most of our Premiers, our Prime Minister, Opposition leaders and Indigenous leadership. Our Federal Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, was invited to negotiate the final details of the Paris Agreement.

On November 30, the Government of Canada joined a U.N. global coalition of partners called the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. Their mission is to build effective, efficient, equitable carbon pricing into all national climate strategies by 2020.

Canada went to Paris with deeply inadequate GHG commitments according toClimate Action Tracker. Prime Minister Trudeau (shown above at the Paris conference) has promised to meet with Canadian premiers within 90 days of the end of the Paris talks. There is a hodgepodge of provincial carbon pricing policies, including carbon taxes (British Columbia, Alberta and possibly New Brunswick) and cap and trade (Quebec, Ontario and now Manitoba) that must be woven together.

In 2016, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada will be there to help politicians create the political will for real climate action, not just words. January is the month CCL Canada finalizes our main plans for the year – so stay tuned here:

— Cathy Orlando, CCL Canada National Manager 

CCLU this week: Leading Tiny CCL Chapters

CCL chapters come in all sizes. CCL’s Madeleine Para leads this week’s program on CCL University in which we’ll talk about strategies for leading a group of 1-5 people. We’ll talk about how to make the most of the people-power you have and hear from a few group leaders about the things they’ve learned about leading a small team. We hope you come away feeling good about your group and ready for more.

This webinar takes place Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. To RSVP and to find out how to connect, visit

January conference call with Hahrie Han

Our international conference call guest this Saturday is Hahrie Han, the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She specializes in the politics of environmental and social policy, focusing particularly on the role that civic associations play in mobilizing participation in politics and policy advocacy. Her most recent book, How Organizations Develop Activists, examines what kinds of strategies are most effective for organizations to use in engaging activists and building movements. Hahrie recently became a member of CCL’s Advisory Board, joining a distinguished group of advisors that includes former Secretary of State George Shultz, climate scientists Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, and former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. You can listen to Saturday’s call live (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT) by attending a CCL chapter meeting near you, or you can listen to the CCL podcastof Saturday’s call after the meeting.

Regional conferences

A reminder that we have two big regional conferences coming up later this month:

  • The Southern California conference Jan. 23-24. Register here.
  • The Third Coast conference (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) Jan. 30-31. Register here.

CCL Climate Advocate Training
Do you want to be a more effective volunteer? Start by joining our weekly intro call and then register for our climate advocate training.
The Intro Call is held weekly on Wednesdays at 8pm ET, 5pm PT
Join Intro Call
Climate Advocate Training is held third and fourth Wednesdays of every month.

Register for Climate Advocate Training
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