Climate Change and Political Action: the Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Philip H Nelson, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Golden, CO, United States and Susan Secord, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Boulder, CO, United States
Recognizing the reality of global warming and its origin in greenhouse gas emissions, what does one do about it? Individual action is commendable, but inadequate. Collective action is necessary--Citizens’ Climate Lobby proposes a “fee-and-dividend” approach in which a fee is imposed on carbon-based fuel at its sources of production. The fee increases annually in a predictable manner. The funds collected are paid out to consumers as monthly dividends. The approach is market-based, in that the cost of the fee to producers is passed on to consumers in the cost of carbon-based fuels. Downstream energy providers and consumers then make their choices regarding investments and purchases.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) builds national consensus by growing local Chapters, led and populated by volunteers. The Chapters are charged with public education and presenting the fee-and-dividend proposal to their respective Representatives and Senators. CCL builds trust by its non-partisan approach, meeting with all members of Congress regardless of party affiliation and stance on climate-related issues. CCL also builds trust by a non-confrontational approach, seeking to understand rather than to oppose. CCL works both locally, through its local Chapters, and nationally, with an annual conference in Washington DC during which all Congressional offices are visited.

CCL recognizes that a long-term, sustained effort is necessary to address climate change.