Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Canada is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization with a twin focus: to create the political will for a livable planet and to empower people to claim their political and personal power.
CCL’s approach to creating political will for carbon pricing is based on a proven model developed by the poverty-reduction and citizen empowerment organization RESULTS. Unique in the climate arena, CCL’s roots can also be traced to the principles of nonviolence and compassion that guided the social revolutions led by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
What we do…
We lobby in support of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal by building friendly relationships with our federally elected representatives. We do so with respect, appreciation and gratitude for their service.
We write letters to the editor and op-eds, and meet with editorial boards to gain their editorial endorsement.
We facilitate presentations and table at events to promote CCL and introduce others to our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal.
We support our volunteer chapters with monthly conference calls, and we support the leaders of those chapters with regular conference calls and a network of people to support them.
What we believe…
Politicians don’t create political will, they respond to it. We believe citizens who are well-trained, organized by Ridings and with a good system of support can more than influence the political process.
In respect for all viewpoints, even for those who would oppose us.
Based on what climate scientists and economists tell us, we believe that Carbon Fee and Dividend is the best first step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate.
- We lobby in support of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal through building relationships with elected representatives. This includes expressing respect, appreciation and gratitude for their service.
- We write letters to the editor and op-eds, and meet with editorial boards to gain their editorial endorsement.
- We facilitate presentations and table at events to introduce CCL to other Canadians and to promote the importance of putting a price on carbon.
- We ask community leaders, businesses and organizations to endorse our policy: Carbon Fee and Dividend
- We support our volunteer chapters with regularly monthly conference calls, and we support the leaders of those chapters with weekly conference calls.
Marshall Saunders, a retired real estate broker, founded Citizens’ Climate Lobby in 2007. Saunders is an international philanthropist and winner of the 2009 Grameen Foundation Humanitarian Award. After retiring from business, he devoted two decades of his life to volunteer efforts focused on lifting the world’s poorest people out of poverty with small micro-credit loans. In 2006, after watching An Inconvenient Truth, Saunders realized that global warming-related effects such as rising sea levels and more flooding and droughts were going devastate many of the very people he had seen lift themselves out of poverty through micro-credit loans. After being trained by Vice President Gore’s Climate Reality team, Saunders was compelled to do more.
I realized that anything my listeners intended to do as individuals was totally swamped by public policy, by what the government did or didn’t do.
While I suggested ways for people to reduce their use of carbon, Congress extended a law that gave $18 billion in subsidies to oil and coal companies.
It seemed to me that Congress was doing things exactly backwards. Why? Because it is dominated by special interests, in this case the fossil fuel industry. In my heart I knew something else was at play: Ordinary people were not asking their members of Congress for anything regarding climate change, not in an organized and effective way. Furthermore, they didn’t know what to do or how to do it, nor did they have self-confidence and support they needed.
At the official launch of the first three chapters in San Diego California in 2007, Saunders emphasized the novel approach to climate action CCL volunteers still demonstrate today:
“And yet through all of the patience and kindness there is an indomitable will, never being defeated, never giving up.”
In 2010, Saunders met Cathy Orlando at the Nashville Summit for Climate Reality Project presenters. Orlando is a published scientist and educational author, manager with six years experience at a university, Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient and climate activist who lives in Sudbury, Ontario. You can read more about her story here.
Orlando brought CCL to Canada in September 2010 and started the first chapter in Sudbury. Soon after, CCL chapters sprung up in Toronto and Red Lake, Ontario. She has been working as the national director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby in Canada since October 2011. Her primary duties include: volunteer management, all aspects of communications, fundraising, data management, keeping the organization focused on our two primary goals nationally and managing all national lobbying events in Ottawa. In September 2017, Cathy took on additional duties of International Outreach Manager of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, where she will draw upon thirteen years of experience in science communication, organizational development, and volunteer empowerment.
Both Saunders and Orlando believe Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a powerful way for us to create the political will for a livable world. They invite you to learn more about CCL by joining an introductory call, held every Wednesday at 8 pm EST, 5 pm Pacific.
What We Believe In
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. These core values guide our staff and volunteers along the way:
We are focused on what we see as the single most impactful solution to climate change — a national carbon fee and dividend. We know it will not solve the problem entirely, and appreciate the work that our friends in other groups are doing. So that we can be effective, we do not let ourselves get distracted by work that does not support our core purpose. After we accomplish our goal, we will tackle the next most impactful solution.
We believe that people are good, and that democracy works. We are confident that our approach will work because we see progress. We stand for a solution, not in protest of other solutions. We don’t expect perfection from ourselves or others; this is a process and we know that people can improve. Together, we are a community that offers one another comfort, support, and fun as we work.
We take the most generous approach to other people as possible — appreciation, gratitude, and respect. We listen, we work to find common values, and we endeavor to understand our own biases. We are honest and firm. We know that there is a place for protest, but our approach is to build consensus — that’s what will bring enduring change. That’s why elected officials and their staff, no matter what their politics, say they are happy to see us — and mean it.
We are prepared and do our research. We are always on time for meetings. Our approach is thoughtful & thorough. We consult experts and use data. We are open to new information; in fact we solicit opposing opinions. We refine our solutions to make them better. We follow up when we are asked. We keep on.
We use our voices to be heard. This simple act transforms us from spectators to engaged citizens, and it reveals the true nature of democracy to us. We are volunteer-driven — trusting volunteers to make important decisions, and to create and develop things that will be valued by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Our group is open to all who are serious about solving climate change. You are welcome no matter where you live, what you wear, what you do for a living, or who you voted for in the last election. We work with elected officials and community leaders from across the political spectrum because we believe that everyone is a potential ally.
Judging by the exponential growth of CCL, we’re on to something special. 80 CCL groups were added to the CCL global family in 2014, and in the first six months of 2015, 50 more came on board. By the summer of 2015 there were nearly 300 CCL chapters on four continents.
Click here to find the most up to date list of Canadian CCL chapters.