4,685 climate advocates joined virtual event, lobbied 400+ congressional offices for carbon fee
At least 4,685 people tuned in via Zoom and social media live streams for Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s 2020 conference, “A Community Stronger than COVID.” The online keynotes, breakout sessions, and deep-dive seminars trained and inspired attendees to push Congress for climate change solutions, such as a price on carbon pollution. In years past, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) has held this conference as an in-person event in Washington, D.C., and participants have lobbied their representatives on Capitol Hill. This year due to COVID-19, the conference programming and lobbying efforts all went virtual.
“Though we love to be together, the virtual format offered some real benefits,” CCL Executive Director Mark Reynolds said. “Without the barriers of travel time and cost, even more constituents were able to participate in the conference and connect with their members of Congress.”
The keynote session included remarks from two sitting senators, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), who co-founded the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus last fall, as well as former Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo, and former World Bank official Rachel Kyte. Watch all of their remarks here.
Breakout sessions explored climate advocacy in the context of today’s issues, with sessions like “Thinking Forward on Race in America,” “How COVID and Carbon Pricing Affect Coal Communities,” and many more. (Recordings available in this YouTube playlist.) The closing plenary featured remarks from one of CCL’s young conservative volunteers and Dr. Danny Richter, CCL’s VP of Government Affairs.
Earlier this week, thousands of volunteers also scheduled at least 428 virtual meetings with their members of Congress, seeking additional support for the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763). This legislation, which currently has 80 cosponsors in the House, will put a fee on all oil, gas and coal we use in the United States and will return revenue directly to people as a monthly rebate.
Volunteers also lobbied in support of the bipartisan RECLAIM Act in the House and Senate to support coal communities through America’s energy transition and for the new bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act in the Senate to provide farmers a financial incentive for climate-smart practices.
CCL Senior Director of Government Affairs Ben Pendergrass said, “We’re still reviewing our volunteers’ notes from their meetings and touching base with congressional offices, but we expect that their efforts will generate additional support for these bills.”
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a national nonprofit organization with local chapters across the country. To learn more about our work, visit citizensclimatelobby.org.