CCL rolls out expanded policy agenda at December virtual conference

Conference press release

CCL rolls out expanded policy agenda at December virtual conference


DEC. 12, 2022 — Citizens’ Climate Lobby, known for its focus on carbon pricing to lower climate-damaging emissions, rolled out an expanded policy agenda at its December virtual conference, adding healthy forests, building electrification and efficiency and clean energy permitting reform as the issues it will seek to advance.

“Our values and purpose and ways of working together remain the same. It’s our strategy that evolves to fit the times we’re in and the organization that we have become,” CCL Executive Director Madeleine Para told more than 1,500 conference attendees online. “The next phase of our story is about increasing the sophistication and scope of our work in the wake of what did pass [in the 117th Congress] — the biggest climate package of incentives ever, the Inflation Reduction Act — broadening the lens of our focus.”

The conference provided attendees with an overview of the four policy areas where CCL will focus its efforts:

  • Carbon pricing: CCL advocates for a Carbon Fee and Dividend (CF&D) with a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), to lower emissions and deliver abundant and affordable clean energy to Americans. 
  • Healthy forests: CCL supports 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: CCL will 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: CCL will 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.

“Carbon pricing is at the top of the list on purpose because it remains central to our agenda,” said Para.

In a keynote address to open the conference, former Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo stressed the importance of taking a bipartisan approach to solving climate change, an approach that will be key in a divided Congress.

Curbelo, who co-led the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus while he was in office, said, “When you think about what [bipartisanship] can yield in terms of security, longevity, durability for important policies, then it becomes clear that it is absolutely worth pursuing… I want to encourage you to continue your efforts, to double down on your strategy. The growth that I have seen in terms of bipartisan cooperation in Congress since we started working together some seven years ago has been remarkable.”

The conference concluded with remarks from Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY20) and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)

Rep. Tonko said he will continue to push for a price on carbon and talked about work he will do in the coming Congress on other climate-related legislation. “I’m preparing to introduce a bill to provide more certainty for offshore wind energy.” Tonko said, “I still strongly support a national carbon price,” but acknowledged that the “politics are indeed challenging.”

Speaking about the white-knuckle ride to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, Sen. Smith said, “I was one of the founding members in Congress of the ‘Never Give Up’ caucus, and that is what we needed. We had to just keep on trying even when it felt like this great legislation that we were working on had fallen on rocky shores. We had to keep on bringing it up again and finding a path forward, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Recordings of conference sessions are available online.

CONTACT: Steve Valk, CCL Communications Specialist, 404-769-7461,