Amid global heat wave, Citizens' Climate volunteers get engaged
NEWSLETTER, July 2023—Citizens advise World Bank reforms; Record heat demands we address the cause; Volunteer actions around the world; NDC upgrading effort; Media training.
July 2023 saw four consecutive days that were the hottest in history. Hovering ‘heat domes’ spanned the globe, subjecting hundreds of millions of people to persistent temperatures above 110ºF / 43ºC. Ocean temperatures are reaching record levels; jet stream wind currents are fragmenting. The Antarctic is producing record low sea ice… in deep midwinter. Food systems are increasingly at risk of repeated or prolonged failure. Governments and businesses that ignore the problem or block progress will be increasingly disfavored by markets. Everyone everywhere has a right to climate-resilient development, free from pollution, free from chaos.
CCI to World Bank: Put integral human development at core of Bank’s mission
Faced with new challenges like climate change and global pandemics that are stalling progress on poverty reduction, the World Bank has undertaken a process to evolve its mission and vision. That process involves input from thousands of stakeholders throughout the world, and Citizens’ Climate International is one of those stakeholders.
On July 25, CCI submitted a briefing note requesting that the Bank:
Invest to support the health of all human beings and all of nature.
Recognize human rights, and don’t punish the vulnerable.
Support multilateral cooperative arrangements to accelerate integral human development.
Include stakeholders in design, delivery, and tracking of development finance.
In a press release, CCI Executive Director Joe Robertson, “Integral human development implicitly requires that we remove threats and degradations like climate change and related impacts and health threats. It must be the guiding principle behind everything the Bank does.”
During July, the Bank received input from stakeholders at meetings held in their regional offices. CCI volunteers in Africa shared our concerns in sessions held in Accra, Ghana; Abidjan, Cote d Ivoire; and Nairobi, Kenya. CCI was represented by Kofi Agan (shown above) and Cedric Dzelu in Accra, Roland Dedi Olivier in Abidjan and Kennedy Luther and Faith Khisa in Nairobi.
The heat is on. Let’s deal with the cause: Fossil fuels
In Phoenix, temperatures surpassed 110° F for four weeks as July was declared Earth’s hottest month on record. The sweltering heat has removed nearly all doubt that climate change is happening, and the primary cause is the burning of coal, oil and gas that releases heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Despite in-house studies showing decades ago that the use of their product would eventually lead to catastrophe, Big Oil waged a campaign to cast doubt on climate science, thwarting much-needed action to bring down emissions.
As these industries switch tactics from denial to delay in order to wring out more profit, it’s time to get serious about implementing policies and agreements to phase out fossil fuels. Along those lines, CCI supports 1) a price on carbon with revenue given to households, 2) a proposal from the IMF for an international carbon floor price and 3) the adoption of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.
What in the world is CCI up to?
For most people, summer is a time to slow down, take time off and set aside the cares of the world for a while. Some of our CCI volunteers, however, did not get the relaxation memo, and they’ve been taking action and receiving recognition for their work.
A quick overview of what’s been happening:
Citizens’ Climate Europe published a position paper on EU Climate Target 2040, which is part of their formal EU submission, said CCEU Chair James Hollis. The paper urges the EU to aim for negative carbon emissions by 2040 and that carbon pricing should be the key instrument to bring down emissions. The paper also suggests that Climate Income, recycling carbon pricing revenue back to households, be used to make emission pricing fair and equitable. CCEU also receive a request from the EU Executive for Climate policy (DG-CLIMA) wanting to prepare for the September meeting of the "Expert Group.” CCEU delivered, and the presentation was well received.
In Africa, plans are being made for lobby days, with an event to be held in Nigeria in September and a lobby day set for Ghana. Above, CCI volunteers met with the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, the Honorable Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, to notify leadership of the proposed conference and lobby day in October.
Ugandan honored for climate work: Ann Grace Akiteng, CCI Teso Group Leader in Northern Uganda, received an award for Outstanding Female in Climate Action at the Grassroots Level. She was honored during the Women in Climate Change Conference (WiCC 2023) at Makerere University Business School in Kampala. Ann Grace was recognized for her contribution in championing climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in schools and for advocacy in Alwa subcounty, Kaberamaido district.
Exchanging ideas: CCI Chile volunteer Angelica Flores recently met with Kenya Group Leader Kennedy Luther while she was in Nairobi. Great to see volunteers from different parts of the world getting together to share their unique challenges and approaches on climate advocacy.
Have you or your chapter taken an action recently? Tell us about it by submitting a report with our Action Tracker!
CCI volunteers to work on improving national climate action plans
We cannot afford, even in the next few months and years, to keep expanding the reach of destructive and unsustainable practices. Too much is at stake, as heat records are broken, water and food supplies put at risk, and climate-induced destabilization becoming more likely around the world. What we decide now may well shape the conditions in which human beings live for millennia to come, deciding for them whether security, prosperity, and the protection of basic rights and wellbeing, are possible at all.
CCI volunteer chapters work to build awareness of the need for action, and of the solutions that can drive transformation and support climate-resilient development. In 2023, we are launching a strategic initiative to support citizen volunteers in directly inputting into the process of upgrading nationally determined contributions to the global climate crisis response (NDCs). As the first Global Stocktake on progress toward Paris Agreement goals plays out, we aim to provide locally rooted, stakeholder-driven insights about the most viable path to successful climate-resilient development.
Media training coming in August
Getting published in your local newspaper is one of the more effective levers to generate political will, and letters to the editor offer a great opportunity to do just that. By getting letters into publications read by tens of thousands of people, you demonstrate to politicians that you are a person of influence, someone whose views should be considered.
Beginning with Africa, CCI Senior Advisor for Communications Steve Valk will provide a one-hour training in each region to teach volunteers how to draft and submit letters to the editor that stand a good chance of getting published. Steve worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 30 years and has published more than 100 letters to the editor and op-eds. If you’re in Africa, register now for the Aug. 15 training. A subsequent training will teach volunteers how to draft press releases and engage reporters.