Media Release: Climate Lobby Group Forges Ahead Online During COVID Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18, 2020

Climate Lobby Group Forges Ahead Online During COVID Crisis

Sudbury ON: On Monday, May 11, 2020, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), brought Canadian and international climate experts together in a wide-ranging, virtual conference watched live by more than 100 CCL members from seven provinces.  

It was also viewed more than 100 times online in the first 48 hours of posting. This year’s conference covered a wide range of subjects including perspectives on legislating climate accountability in Canada; insights gained from international climate lawsuits and carbon pricing initiatives around the world; how to build a better future faster; learnings from international CCL chapters; and training for new CCL members. CCL members will now go on to lobby their parliamentarians via video and teleconferencing calls.

“Canada has shown smart, economically efficient leadership by putting in place a federal carbon pricing policy that directly benefits Canadian households. This model can be emulated by other nations to strengthen their own economic futures. As it stands, Canada is racing ahead,” said Joe Robertson, Global Strategy Director, Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Keynote speaker Jason Dion, Mitigation Director of the Canadian Institute of Climate Choices, a new national research institute with a mandate to bring clarity to Canada’s climate choices, shared his perspective on how to legislate climate accountability. This was timely because one of the lobbying requests of CCL Canada is the legislation of science-based GHG targets. At the end of his presentation, he acknowledged CCL Canada for its advocacy of the carbon fee and dividend policy: “You folks were saying it early and often and should take some credit for where we are today.”

The conference also discussed how to build a better future for Canada. Céline Bak, President of Analytica Advisors, with the help of CCL volunteer Marlo Firme, discussed a proposed 10-year, phased-in program for thermally retrofitting and electrifying 60% of Canadian dwellings – which she forecast would reduce GHG emissions by 45% and save billions in annual fuel and electricity costs. 

Dr. Dianne Saxe, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), and now President of Saxe Facts, outlined examples of climate lawsuits being held around the world and shared the helpful insight that even lawsuits that are not ultimately successful, can be instrumental in incenting positive change. “What’s really pivotal is that the fossil fuel industries are becoming less profitable for investors … and litigation risk is a contributing factor,” she said. 

Dr. Saxe was followed by Ecojustice lawyer Danielle Gallant, who discussed a current case brought by seven young climate leaders against the Ontario government for weakening Ontario’s climate targets and violating their Charter rights: Mathur et. al. v. Her Majesty in Right of Ontario. The latest data for Canada show that greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2018 by 15 megatonnes, with 10 megatonnes coming from Ontario. 

To bring about a sense of connectedness, throughout the conference audience members were encouraged to give lots of thumbs-ups, “jazz hands”, smiles, and comment and ask questions in the chatbox. The conference also featured the inspirational music of singer-songwriter Angie Nussey.

“CCL Canada is a boutique climate group specifically focused on supporting a strengthened carbon fee and dividend program – and we have a growing number of people joining our team,” said Cathy Orlando, Canadian Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. ‘The courageous and focused civic work of our volunteers reminds me of the famous quote by Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada is committed to advocating for carbon pricing improvements and building political will locally for the need to address climate change. Its members have been building political will for a liveable world in Canada since September 2010.

To view the online videos from their conference visit their website and Facebook Page:

https://canada.citizensclimatelobby.org/ccl-canada-spring-rendez-vous/

https://www.facebook.com/CCLCanada/

Media Contact: Cathy Orlando: cathy@citizensclimatelobby.org; 705-929-4043

Canadian Citizen Climate Lobbyists who completed an intensive motivational interviewing workshop on October 13, 2018