CCL makes an impact at Global Climate Action Summit

Global Climate Action Summit, Citizens' Climate Lobby affiliate events

By Harold Hedelman

This summit took place in September 2018. For a video of the forum, click here.

This year has brought with it historic climate impacts and, appropriately, historic levels of awareness about the threat of climate change. It’s against that backdrop that the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) takes place Sept. 12-14 in San Francisco. The Summit is bringing together climate change leaders from around the world and aims to catalyze climate action to stave off the worst impacts of global warming.

In addition to the invitation-only formal agenda, the Summit features over 350 affiliate events. CCL chapters and action teams are organizing seven of those affiliate events which, together, are being promoted to the general public as a GCAS mini-summit. Some of the CCL events can be live streamed from anywhere in the country. The CCL mini-summit, hosted at a cluster of venues in downtown San Francisco, includes seven sessions on topics such as carbon pricing, bipartisan communication, climate-smart finance, and how carbon dividends benefit frontline communities.

It struck me recently how proud I am of the mini-summit, which local CCL members have put together in affiliation with the Global Climate Action Summit,” said Elyce Klein, one of the local CCL volunteers making this happen. “Once again, we are bringing to the public a hopeful perspective and specific proposals. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, it’s great to be offering actual solutions that are so badly needed in order to address the climate crisis.”

The U.S. Business Case for a Carbon Tax

Business Climate Leaders (a CCL action team) is producing a very high profile event for the mini-summit: The U.S. Business Case for a Carbon Tax. It’s a half-day Forum taking place at the Gap Inc. corporate headquarters in San Francisco and live-streamed for viewers like you, all around the country. The Forum has five panels covering the following topics:

  • Carbon Pricing 101 – How a Tax Would Work & What To Do With the Revenues
  • The Business Case for Pricing Carbon
  • The National Political Landscape
  • Action at the State Level
  • Mobilizing to Support a Price on Carbon

In total, the Forum will present over 20 speakers, including Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL); Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI); Helen Mountford, Director of Economics, World Resources Institute; Christina Nicholson, Director, Environmental Impact at Gap, Inc.; Josiah Neeley, Energy Policy Director, R Street Institute; and Michelle Romero, Deputy Director, Green For All. CCL’s own Mark Reynolds will also be joining one of the panels. For the full programming schedule and speaker list, click here.

CCL mini summit will have carbon offsetsThe number of speakers and the diversity of their perspectives is arguably greater than any public carbon tax forum, ever, and so the Forum offers you a great opportunity to learn. We can accommodate 200 people, so if you’re in the San Francisco area, register now so you don’t miss out on learning from this comprehensive, impactful group. If you can’t make it in person, register to tune in to the free live stream. I encourage CCLers to watch and learn with their chapters or to offer the opportunity to community leaders in their area. It is a great chance to show them that a carbon tax has all kinds of supporters for all kinds of reasons. CCL volunteers who serve as liaisons to a member of Congress can also alert congressional staffers about the Forum. Plus, the event is carbon neutral, thanks to CO2Logic purchasing carbon offsets for estimated air travel miles and the carbon cost of the venue.

All the details and registration (including a live stream ticket) are available here at

Coast to coast and beyond

Parts of the mini-summit also have an international focus with Resilience Intel’s “Advancing the Climate-Smart Future of Finance” session and the Talanoa Dialogue working session, helping communities engage in the UN dialogue on climate solutions.

“The aim is to ensure that global action to prevent catastrophic climate change gets important new support before this year’s UN climate negotiations,” said Joe Robertson, CCL’s Global Strategy Director. Details and registration for each can be found on the mini-summit’s Eventbrite page.

Turning the tide

In true CCL fashion, volunteers have gone above and beyond to make this event become a reality. Evan Kenward, a volunteer heading up the organizing efforts, said, “Our initial aim was to create something impactful for CCL to bring to [GCAS]. I couldn’t have imagined that the collective effort, passion and dedication of our volunteers would have garnered the coordination of seven unique events to create a mini-summit of our own!”

These events show that CCL has earned a seat at the table alongside people like California Governor Jerry Brown, Michael Bloomberg, members of Congress and other GCAS leaders. Evan said, “They’ll soon understand that we have the solutions and political will needed to help turn the tide.”

Harold Hedelman is a hard-working (though fully retired) entrepreneur and nonprofit executive. He co-founded and co-leads CCL’s Business Climate Leaders Action Team.