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CCL in 54 countries: Updates from our international chapters

By Claire Squire

Have you ever wondered what the international chapters of CCL are up to? As of June 2019, there are active or developing CCL chapters in 54 countries. In a recent Citizens’ Climate University webinar, International Outreach Manager Cathy Orlando shares accomplishments and updates from around the world.

International goals

The World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Dashboard is an online tool that displays carbon pricing throughout the world, with the goal of instituting programs in 20% of countries by the year 2020. To meet this objective, CCL helped found the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, a group that meets regularly to share experiences and strategies for the proliferation of carbon pricing globally. Where do global CCL volunteers come into play? The main objective of CCL’s international volunteers is to advocate for their countries to join the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.

Climate action in Canada

Because Canada is a diverse country with economic needs that vary by province, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wanted to ensure that a carbon pricing scheme would not harm Canada’s vulnerable communities. In October 2018, Canada unveiled a carbon fee and dividend plan that expanded previous efforts to include all provinces.

From 2010-2018, CCL volunteers went to Parliament 13 times, held almost 700 lobbying sessions, and achieved 3,000 media hits in a 100% volunteer driven effort. Senator Grant Mitchell, the second most lobbied Parliament-member in the nation, applauded volunteers’ efforts, stating: “You are one of the most successful lobbying groups I have worked with because you are about to get what you lobbied for.”

CCL around the world

Following the successful passage of carbon fee and dividend in Canada, other countries are considering the policy, referring to it as the Canadian Model Ireland is currently negotiating a carbon pricing policy and is considering carbon fee and dividend, as is the Netherlands. With the spread of Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future movement, other countries have began talking about this model. The Mexican President spoke at a Fridays for Future rally about this policy, while Panama’s youth leaders went to a presidential open forum to discuss carbon fee and dividend. Colombian CCL members have been regularly lobbying their government, and new ways of training volunteers are being formulated, with Guinea’s leaders becoming the first group trained in French, and Zimbabwean leaders, unable to utilize traditional training due to poor internet, have pioneered international CCL training over WhatsApp. National CCL conferences have been held in Australia, Sweden, Nigeria, Canada, Germany, and the UK, and the fruits of these volunteers’ labors are becoming increasingly evident.

International accomplishments

Prompted by Australian CCL members (the country has 93 chapters!), their Parliament created the equivalent of the Climate Solutions Caucus. Additionally, professors from the University of New South Wales recently conducted a study on carbon fee and dividend, yielding similar results to the REMI study.

Cathy Orlando

Nigerian CCL volunteers and International Outreach Manager Cathy Orlando

Nigeria has created five chapters in a matter of months, becoming the fifth most activated country globally. These volunteers are mobilizing at a critical moment, as the country’s Environment Minister has noted that Nigeria is looking into carbon pricing but still needs support from civil society to push legislation through their newly elected Parliament.

Globally, climate change has been elevated to the forefront of many country’s agendas, thanks in part to 17-year-old Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future school strikes, which mobilized 1.7 million strikers throughout the world on March 15, 2019. G7 talks in Paris included discussion of carbon pricing and border carbon adjustments. Thanks to efforts throughout the world, CCL volunteers are helping move the needle on carbon pricing even beyond the U.S.

To see all of CCL’s international chapters, check out the map on our website. To ask questions or share contacts that may be helpful to CCL’s international work, contact Cathy Orlando or Joe Robertson.

Claire Squire is an intern with CCL’s Communications team and a second-year Environmental Management student at Indiana University.