At COP22: Carbon pricing, citizen engagement can make low-carbon transition irreversible


Joe at COP22

Citizens’ Climate Global Strategy Director Joseph Robertson at a press conference at COP22.

At COP22: Carbon pricing, citizen engagement can make low-carbon transition irreversible

MARRAKECH, NOV. 18, 2016 — As the UN climate conference draws to a close, it is clear that in order to make good on the Paris climate agreement’s goal of containing global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the world must ramp up efforts with citizen engagement, carbon pricing and the shift to clean finance, Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network said Friday.

“The world is gathered here in Marrakech to make sure strategies for fulfilling national climate commitments are aligned with the need to escalate ambition, reward overachievement, and actively co-create a new climate economy,” said Joseph Robertson, Global Strategy Director for Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “The climate-focused empowerment of citizens to become local leaders, conveners, and coordinators of climate action, is one of the market signals not often discussed as a driver of this new economy.”

To make sure this signal only gets stronger over time, the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network is building a mechanism by which stakeholders can directly contribute their local knowledge, their testimony about climate vulnerability, and their vision for a climate-smart future, to each of the Nationally Determined Contributions that will combine to end the climate crisis. The NDCs and future climate agreements can become convening spaces where people across the world have an opportunity to build their local genius into climate policy.

With efficient and effective carbon pricing, finance will shift to follow the most efficient new ways of operating in the world.

“If just one-twelfth of bonds moved into climate-smart investment strategies, $1 trillion per year would be going to work to secure our climate future,” Robertson said.

This week, after an election that could shift U.S. national climate policy away from the Paris framework, nearly 300 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers met with 350 Congressional offices in Washington, DC, to engage in practical conversations about a carbon fee with 100% dividend to all households. Such a plan can put the U.S. far ahead of the curve for emissions reductions, while spurring new investment in Main Street businesses and sustained, inclusive economic recovery.

Such investments will ensure that daring innovators like Solar Impulse continue to build global collaborative communities for climate-smart innovation. Partners contribute ideas, resources, inventive capacity, and know-how, to bring cutting-edge solutions along sooner, rather than later. The technical achievements inherent in their work are making new innovations possible in many other fields.

“A planet-wide collaborative transition is underway, and that is where the smart money needs to go,” Robertson said. “To ensure that COP22 is remembered as a spur to action, we will work with partners to empower citizens, government, entrepreneurs and innovators to co-create a new economic model, where climate stewardship and low-carbon innovation are core value propositions.”

CONTACT: Joseph Robertson, Global Strategy Director for Citizens’ Climate Education and Citizens’ Climate Lobby, at gro.e1634985314tamil1634985314csnez1634985314itic@1634985314rj1634985314

Joe Robertson is the Global Strategy Director for Citizens' Climate Lobby. He is also the author of CCL's booklet, "Building the Green Economy."