Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Review of 2017

Amidst a gathering climate emergency that can’t be sugar-coated, 2017 provided lots of positives. Here Jim Allen, CCLs South Australian coordinator, reveals that among his top positive stories is the shocking statement by President Macron, that we are losing the battle on climate change at the moment.

But why are Macron’s statements such a positive for 2017? Jim explains that the statement by Macron heads his list of positives because, above all, we need leaders to speak candidly! And it helps that Macron advocates for and supports a border adjustment tax on carbon pollution,  just as CCL does. 
 
In spite of lack of such candour in Australian politics, on all things climate and especially about renewable energy,  nonetheless the fact is that in 2017 renewable energy investment and new technologies are gathering pace globally.

Polls indicate the Australian public is not as fearful of bolder action as many Australian politicians and media who still avoid the issue.

Peak business groups and leaders joined the call for an Australian carbon price or ‘market-based mechanisms’. Businesses are becoming aware of their obligation to plan for climate risk.

More of our key trading partners are leading or joining the carbon price club – composed of governments of nations representing a large part of the world’s GDP.

The Stop Adani! impact on the Queensland election was telling.

Elon Musk’s pledge, followed by delivery of a battery storage facility for the SA Government in under 100 days, was a media sensation. With more and even bigger energy storage projects on the horizon, we now see hopeful signs of a political multi-partisanship on storage.

Internationally, CCL made giant strides. For the eighth year in a row, we doubled our number of supporters to more than 90,000. There are now 457 active CCL chapters worldwide, with 396 in the US.

Two US CCL national conferences in Washington, DC, drew record attendances, with 1,300 participants coming in June and close to 600 in November. 

In the US Congress, the membership of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus tripled since the start of the year to 62. As has been the case from the beginning, that membership is divided equally between Republicans and Democrats. 

The caucus is progressing from meaningful conversations among members to efforts to fend off bad legislation, and the next phase of action will be proposing solutions to climate change.

Canada’s embrace of carbon pricing across the political divide (though incomplete) is a significant breakthrough. Canada’s former conservative national government had rejected key climate reforms. Canada is a similar nation and economy to ours.

In Australia, we had our 3rd National Conference and Canberra lobby days in September 2017 and an extra two lobby days in March 2017. CCL held many meetings with Federal politicians and/or their senior staff.

There was an explosion of CCL supporter letters published in newspapers around Australia! Averaging nearly one a week!

It probably slipped under the radar for some, like the PM, but in a televised speech given at the Australian National Press Club in February, former Republican Congressman, Bob Inglis, laid out a compelling vision for conservative leadership on climate policy. This includes revenue-neutral policy like the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposed by CCL.

Then most recently was the announcement by China to progress its national carbon trading scheme. Will carbon trading and the carbon price set by China affect Australia?

 
If like us you think it is only a matter of time that it will – and sooner rather than later – then a question is ‘who will pay?’ CCL wants carbon fees to be distributed to households, in the belief that it is householders who will be handed the bill by fossil energy companies to pay. So, we think it is only fair that it is householders who are reimbursed, to respond to the price signal.   

As the year ends, CCL is laying the foundation for a big 2018.

 
2018 is the first year Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia is able to hold ‘Clearing the Air’ conferences all round Australia in the capitals, including in Adelaide. In this way we can reach more of our politicians than ever before, including state MPs.
 
Our big year of training and lobbying will culminate in reaching the end of our 3 year project of completing our electorate network – and we need all CCL members on deck to accomplish this! Then, at the end of the year we will be both lobbying and celebrating, when we hold the annual national conference and meetings in Parliament House, Canberra (date tba). 
 
Need to up-skill to be part of this? Great! 
 
Contact us at: info@ccl.org.au 
 

 
Before taking a long break to focus on climate activism, Jim was an urban planner working for local government. His interest in environmental policy led to a role in developing SA’s first Climate Strategy.
 
He is on the Board of Urban Ecology Australia. He goes birdwatching and gardens for relaxation and re-connection with nature. He looks after the Boothby electorate CCL group and is a group mentor for CCL members in electorates right across South Australia. If you are a CCL SA member ready to get active with some CCL tasks and roles then Jim is your point of contact. Email Jim at: info@ccl.org.au 
 
You can start now – 
Introduction to Citizens Climate Lobby – 26  mins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azhhr64cp3w&t=12s
Climate Advocate Training – Part 1/Lesson One  – 27 mins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAgBHa8miX4&t=15s
Climate Advocate Training – Part 2/Lesson Two – posted 21 November 2016 – 35 mins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ID70k3oZaM&t=2s
  

Every week, Citizens’ Climate University hosts a live, online learning session to educate and empower climate action volunteers from around the world. Browse past lessons in CCL Community, and mark your calendar for upcoming sessions. For all the details of Australian events check out the latest newsletter.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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