The Power of Teamwork
NEWSLETTER, Feb 2022 — Tracking our activities works; CCI’s Four Programs; our first CCI Week of Action; CCI submissions to UN; Call for nonviolent civics; Ukraine statement
When we leave stakeholders out, we leave out the human impact of big decisions, and the everyday talent it takes to make them work. As stakeholders, we are more effective in creating and communicating political will when we work as a team. Our CCI volunteer corps is spread across 6 continents, and includes people from many different geographical, cultural, and economic situations. We are working this year to help our whole team learn from each other and achieve big, transformational goals.
Tracking our activities works
As Citizens’ Climate International moves into our second year of work to upgrade technical support to volunteers around the world, we are taking stock of systems used to track volunteer activities.
In some countries, Citizens’ Climate volunteers have used tools developed by CCE and CCL to track actions across the Five Levers of Political Will.
Tracking isn’t about building up the highest numbers; it’s about getting an overview of volunteer activity, and being better able to see where each of the Levers either needs more attention or already supports success.
The purpose is to capture the benefits of that engagement, and to support volunteers in building on the work they and their teammates have done so far.
In the chart above, you can see how consistent efforts toward chapter and volunteer development support success in other areas. A few other things also stand out about this visualization of volunteer activities:
Contact with public officials is a much broader area of work than direct policy meetings; the work of citizen advocacy is about coordination, planning, sharing information, and building relationships.
Whatever else is going on, there is always space for media relations—including meeting with journalists, discussing policy and process, and publishing letters, articles, and blogs. A few actions at a time adds up to a lot of momentum.
We also want to highlight that Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers in Australia have been doing this work, and tracking their actions, since 2014. It takes time to build an integrated and self-sustaining team effort.
The most important detail about this chart is that every number represents individual actions by small groups of volunteers. This is a nationwide network, but your own local chapter of just a few people can build the same kind of team momentum, by meeting, coordinating, and working as a team to make each moment of engagement happen.
Going forward, we will highlight volunteer actions—by individuals, groups, and regional networks—that others can learn from.
Above all, for our volunteers, including those who work in the smallest teams or who have just signed up, thank you for all that you do. Your work will be vital for building the political will that allows us, as a global community, to solve the climate crisis.
To serve our mission of empowering citizen volunteers to build political will for a livable climate future, we work across four defined program areas:
The core of our work is the organizing and training of local groups of citizen volunteers. We understand that politicians don’t create political will; they respond to it. So our volunteers work together to move Five Levers of Political Will. Actions tracked above are part of that work to build political will.
To bring stakeholders’ voices to the center of global policy processes, we work to integrate our local and national policy engagement with international decision-making, at the United Nations level. Our Civic Diplomacy Program aims to expand the civic space and build stakeholders’ voices into supranational decision-making.
The everyday economy of the world is built around incentives that reward polluting activities. Our economies don’t tell the truth about the cost of that pollution. Putting a strong price on pollution, in ways designed to enhance most people’s economic resilience, is a critical lever for making climate solutions mainstream.
Resilience is more than the ability to “bounce back”; it is a measure of health and adaptive capacity. Our Resilience Intelligence program aims to map connections between economy-shaping forces, climate risk reduction, and the project of building sustainable economies that work for everyone.
June Week of Action
In June 2022, we will hold our first Citizens’ Climate International Week of Action. During that week, our volunteers will focus on moving the Five Levers, in particular by meeting with public officials, to address climate policy response from their perspective as stakeholders. The COVID pandemic means many meetings need to happen virtually, instead of in person. This also means it is possible to schedule meetings that might not happen otherwise.
The CCI Week of Action will be a global, hybrid event, offering volunteers the opportunity to:
Schedule direct policy discussions with public officials;
Spread their message in local media;
Organize, if they choose, educational meetings in their communities, including virtual meetings;
Connect with trusted leaders, to build political will locally;
Engage in focused trainings to develop their volunteers’ skills.
We are working to design education and coordination sessions for our volunteers in all country contexts to be able to play a role, deepen their engagement, and further develop their local groups. The core theme will be building political will for a livable world, where everyone is valued and nature is protected.
Toward a world that works for everyone
As part of our Civic Diplomacy Program, we are filing formal submissions to various scientific, policy-making, and intergovernmental processes, to speak up for the needs and priorities of our network of stakeholders across the world. These contributions include comments on key issues under review for the next US National Climate Assessment and notes on connections between upstream and downstream stakeholders and natural systems, for the UN Ocean Conference dialogues.
In both cases, we emphasized the need to consider complex interactions between human and natural systems, and to assess the human-scale impact in specific contexts. We also recommended assessing adaptive capacity and resilience against a zero preventable harm standard, considering human health and wellbeing, fiscal and opportunity cost, stability of the built environment, food security, and the integrity of ecosystems and natural capital.
Our contribution to the UNFCCC on Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement calls for steering the development of non-market approaches to cooperative decarbonization toward innovations that include and empower community-level climate-smart development. And, we are calling for structural and material support for expanded public participation in the design and implementation of climate policy, under the Glasgow Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE).
We stand for nonviolent solutions-oriented civic engagement
The word “politics” refers to the shared management of the life of a city or state. Politics is messy, because competing views and interests must come together to make a sensible future; political space belongs to the people. That does not, however, give extremists the right to hijack the civic space or use the right to peaceful protest as a way to physically and psychologically terrorize their fellow citizens.
At CCI, we work to support citizen volunteers in shaping a solutions-oriented civic space, where the right of stakeholders to speak and be heard is central to the decision-making process. We also view the use of violence and intimidation by extremists to be an attack on those fundamental rights. This is why we oppose the campaign of menace and intimidation that is being used to subvert Canada’s democracy.
Key dates for CCI in 2022
April — Earth Day Citizens’ Forum
May — Civic Diplomacy Training Workshops
June — Stockholm +50 / SB56 UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn, Germany / 1st Citizens’ Climate International Week of Action / G7 Germany Summit
September — UN General Assembly / CCI Consultation on a Zero Harm Global Goal for Adaptation
October — Civic Diplomacy Training Workshops / CCI pre-COP Week of Action
November — COP27 UNFCCC negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
The invasion of Ukraine is an unacceptable atrocity
We must include here a statement of determined support to the people of Ukraine. At CCI, we value the humanity of every person as paramount. Humanity must always be a higher value than any use of power for personal or factional interest. We value multilateral cooperation under structured and agreed international law as vital to securing a livable future.