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We cannot divert attention from the threat of climate change
NEWSLETTER, Oct. 2023—Newly-formed CCI Bucharest lobbies for climate income in Romania; Earth Diplomacy workshops prep advocates for COP28; CCI lobbyists push for carbon pricing in Nigeria.
With the eruption of war in the Middle East, along with the continuing conflict to turn back the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it might be understandable for the world’s attention to stray from the all-encompassing threat of climate change. That would not, however, make it easier to achieve peace and security or improve conditions better for the most vulnerable. Climate change, if left unabated, will bring about food and water shortages and unbearable heat that destabilizes governments, causes conflicts and forces the mass migration of people desperate for a livable home. The nations of the world, therefore, must continue to focus on the challenging task of phasing out fossil fuels and helping endangered countries to adapt to a changing climate. The COP28 climate conference coming up at the end of November presents the next opportunity for nations to align on a plan to prevent global temperatures from spiraling beyond our ability to adapt. A big part of that plan is to reimagine financial and food systems to put our world on a more sustainable path. CCI, through grassroots engagement at the national level and grasstops engagement at the international level, is working to ensure that steps are taken to preserve a livable future for everyone.
Newly-formed CCI Bucharest lobbies for climate income in Romania
Just a few months ago, CCI Program Director Cathy Orlando was on a Zoom call with volunteers in Romania explaining how to engage their government on climate solutions. Early last month, volunteers from the CCI Bucharest chapter met with members of the Romanian Parliament to discuss carbon pricing. “Although still preliminary, we were pleasantly surprised by the productive dialogue we had, and their openness to the idea of a carbon dividend,” said Radu Grigorescu and Marina Daniluc (shown above) in an Instagram post. Later in the month, they were invited to participate in the Climate Change Summit in Bucharest attended by 1,700 in person and more than 800,000 online. At the summit (photo below), CCI Bucharest volunteers shared information about carbon pricing systems in Austria and Canada. The group asked how a small group like theirs could move policy forward, and Cathy responded, “I don’t think you need a critical mass. I think you need to find a champion politician and some top level business umbrella groups that support your idea. Yes, of course you will need public education.”
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Earth Diplomacy workshops prep advocates for COP28
As we approach the opening of the COP28 climate conference in Dubai on Nov. 30, CCI is preparing climate advocates to engage in the negotiations, a complicated and daunting process that, nevertheless, can have a huge impact on the livability of our planet. The series of workshops, the Earth Diplomacy Leadership Initiative, co-convened with the Fletcher School at Tufts University, started on October 3 and continues through November 21.
The first session looked at the process of these climate negotiations, which included the history of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement of 2015, the Nationally Determined Contributions toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the Global Stocktake of where things stand. It also explored a number of issues yet to be resolved, like the Loss and Damage Fund and integrating climate-smart practices in finance, food systems and trade.
The second session looked at the stakes that are involved — what the science tells us about our climate, the worsening impact and how it affects economic and political stability, and the possibilities of climate-resilient development. Other sessions last month looked at the Mutual Gains Approach to negotiations, looking at an issue from multiple perspectives in order to build consensus, and working across the various treaties, conventions, institutional arrangements, and processes.
Upcoming sessions will look at accelerating non-market approaches — not emissions trading — to spur greater climate ambition and action and the complex process of COP28 aimed at addressing high-stakes global challenges.
CCI lobbyists push carbon price in Nigeria
CCI climate advocates in Nigeria were on a roll in October. Following a lobby training led by CCI Africa Regional Coordinator David Michael Terungwa, 33 volunteers held 10 meetings with legislators on Oct. 26, including the House Vice Chairman of the Committee on the Environment. The meetings went very well. Here is what they discussed:
Introduction of a carbon tax on heavy emitters in Nigeria, preferably a carbon tax and dividend
An amendment of the Environmental Impact Assessment act of 1992
An invitation to Citizens’ Climate Lobby conference in Washington next June 2024 to participate in the inter-parliamentary dialogue on climate change
Increasing the appropriation to climate, environment and related ministries and agencies
Earlier in the month, CCI volunteers in the state of Kaduna, led by Gloria Bulus (shown above with a legislator), introduced themselves to the members of the State House of Assembly with the aim of building relationships. A similar day of lobbying was held in the state of Adamawa, where they were asked to draft a state policy on climate change and a review of the state forestry policy.
The Nigerian team had another breakthrough on Oct. 27 when David Michael led a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Environment. After speaking with the minister of State Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako (shown below with David Michael), about a carbon tax with climate income, Salako asked if CCI could provide a policy brief on how to implement the fee-and-income program.
CCL Canada’s ‘Undaunted’ conference
From October 15 to 17, dedicated volunteers from CCL Canada convened in Ottawa for the "Undaunted" conference. This event revolved around strategic planning, insightful workshops, and featured remarkable keynote speakers. Erika Beauchesne, representing Canadians for Tax Fairness, delivered a compelling presentation titled "Taxes and the Path to a Green Economy." Canadians for Tax Fairness shares CCL Canada's endorsement of a revenue-neutral carbon tax as a core component of their recommendations. In order to finance the necessary economic transformation, Canadians For Tax Fairness is advocating for a comprehensive overhaul of the tax system, which has remained largely unchanged since 1966, including proposals for Wealth Taxes and Capital Gains Taxes. Christiana Guertin from the Canadian Climate Institute provided encouraging news that heat pumps offer a cost-effective solution for heating and cooling homes.
Although the conference focus was strategic planning, CCL volunteers also engaged in advocacy efforts by meeting with six Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill. Additionally, some CCL volunteers participated in a protest against Suncor, a company involved in oil extraction from the Canadian oil sands. They had the opportunity to attend a committee hearing at the invitation of Member of Parliament Viviane Lapointe, where Suncor representatives argued for an increase in oil sands production and suggested that Canadian taxpayers should shoulder the expenses for carbon capture and sequestration. Several Members of Parliament challenged Suncor's assertions, and further details can be found in an article authored by CCL volunteer Sophia Mathur, published on Sudbury.com.
CCI Program Director Cathy Orlando presented two petitions about Emissions Caps and Climate Aligned Finance that were read by her two local MPs, Marc Serre and Viviane Lapointe, on the floor of the House of Commons. Cathy shared her reflections on the conference in a blog post published on the CCL Canada website.
Transformation at the World Bank
The World Bank is the largest funder of development projects in poorer countries. With climate change having a devastating impact on these nations, the Bank is now looking at ways to better utilize its resources to help countries recover from that impact, adapt to a changing climate and transition to clean energy. In a series of regional meetings this year, the Bank sought input from stakeholders around the world, and CCI volunteers submitted letters outlining a list of principles and priorities for ensuring better outcomes for people in communities. In a dispatch last month, CCI stressed the importance of the Bank aligning its mission with scientific findings on climate change:
Given that we organize our mission at CCI around the principle that "A livable future is a human right", we ask that international financial reforms be conducted in line with the stark scientific findings of the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report (AR6). Specifically, the report finds that the 1.5ºC threshold is likely to be crossed before 2040…overshooting 1.5ºC will make it harder to achieve climate-resilient development, even if the overshoot is partially reversed through carbon drawdown.
Pakistan volunteer publishes Loss and Damage op-ed
In October, Raza Hussain Qazi, CCI’s leader in Lahore, Pakistan, published a piece in The News looking at the long history of compensating poorer nations for the harm caused by climate change. The issue is particularly pressing in Pakistan, which last year suffered from torrential rain causing flooding that affected 33 million people, claimed 1,700 lives and destroyed 2 million homes.
As Raza writes:
“The question of loss and damage came up in the shape of a formal demand during the 13th annual session of the Conference of Parties (COP13) in 2007…From that point onwards, the discussion of climate liability and compensation became a central part of the annual COP agendas.”
Raza notes that last year’s COP27 adopted a Loss and Damage Fund, and details on funding and process are being worked out. Now, he says:
“The vulnerable developing nations have their eyes fixed on the UAE COP28… The future of the ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ is in the hands of present leaders, and much depends on how successfully they reach an agreement to operationalize the fund – as early as the climate crisis demands.”
COP28 in United Arab Emirates: Citizens’ Climate International will send a delegation to COP28 UN climate conference in Dubai, which starts on Nov. 30.
CCI Group Leader Global Check-In Calls the second Tuesday of the month. Leaders please check your emails.
CCI Get-To-Know-Us Calls return the third Wednesday of the month. Go here for registration details.
CCL Canada’s Onboarding Calls, Wednesdays Nov. 1 and Nov. 8. More details here.
The Talanoa Dialogues for Redirecting Financial Flows Towards a Livable Planet - Tuesday, Nov. 21. More details and register here.
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