CCL’s Policy Agenda

Citizens’ Climate Lobby works on policies that are effective in reducing net emissions and building bridges both in Congress and in our communities. Our policy agenda has four main areas, and was adopted in 2022. Follow this link to read more, to watch video and listen to audio recordings.

  • Carbon Pricing – A strong, economy-wide price on carbon could reduce America’s carbon pollution by 50% by 2030, putting us on track to reach net zero by 2050. When government puts a price on carbon, corporate polluters pay a fee for the carbon pollution that will result from burning the fossil fuels they sell. Businesses respond by becoming more energy efficient and developing new sources of clean, renewable energy. These innovations will not only lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions but will also provide abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy and drive us faster toward net zero carbon pollution. A carbon tax becomes affordable for ordinary Americans when the money collected from fossil fuel companies is given as a dividend, or “carbon cash back” payment, to every American to spend with no restrictions. This protects low- and middle-income Americans who might otherwise bear a disproportionate burden during the transition to clean energy.
  • Healthy Forests – We support preserving and expanding forests and climate-smart forestry, as well as advocating for increasing urban forests, with a focus on neighborhoods that are negatively impacted by a lack of tree equity.
  • Building Electrification and Efficiency – We educate the public and elected officials on the importance of electrification and efficiency and how they can accelerate the transition to clean energy buildings, with attention to supporting low- and middle-income households in that transition.
  • Clean Energy Permitting Reform – We work to increase America’s capacity to transmit clean energy and speed up the approval of clean energy projects, while preserving communities’ ability to give input.

How Was This Set of Policy Areas Chosen?

Our main criteria for our policy agenda are policies that are effective in reducing net greenhouse gas emissions and building bridges both in Congress and in our communities.

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.

In determining our policy areas, we consulted a long list of outside experts including climate scientists, economists, policy thought leaders, climate organizations, eco-right organizations, environmental justice advocates, former and current members of Congress and business leaders.

They helped us understand the merits of these policies – their potential impact, the politics surrounding them, and the potential fit for a group of highly motivated, tenacious, relationship-building advocates like us to have impact. While there are many worthwhile policy options, we know that our advocacy is more effective when we stay focused. Ultimately, we arrived at the policies we’ve chosen as the best opportunities for us to drive emissions down and build bridges.

Why Did CCL Expand Its Focus?

CCL was formed in 2009 to create the political will for a livable world and to empower people to influence their governments. For over 10 years we worked towards that mission by advocating for Carbon Fee and Dividend (CF&D) as our main policy objective. CCL has now expanded its policy agenda because we have the power to do more for the climate without diminishing our current efforts to pass CF&D. 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 in the past.

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. Experts also agree that CF&D is a powerful climate solution, yet it is not enough on its own, so we need additional policies to meet those emissions targets. We also know that we’ll need to go further than net-zero, drawing down greenhouse gasses until the climate is healthy and stable.

A broader agenda makes CCL stronger and more effective, by offering more ways for people, organizations and elected officials to engage with us. We have more ways to build trusted relationships with members of Congress and support for bold climate action. Locally, a broader agenda helps us engage people across the political spectrum in red and blue districts/states as well as in cities, towns and rural communities.

By increasing our ability to build political will we can enact effective climate solutions and ensure a healthy climate.

Please visit our secure conversation platform to learn more.

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