We’re All in This Together
Climate Solutions Beyond Your Backyard
Submitted by the Volunteers of Portland Citizens’ Climate Lobby
There is so much at stake in this November’s elections: affordable health care, civil rights, the economy, etc. But climate change remains the existential threat to human existence. There is reason for hope that this coming legislative cycle will be a turning point for climate policy. Although on the surface it appears one political party embraces climate action and the other sits in denial, there are hopeful signs that this is changing beneath the surface.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby
With over 190,000 members, we at Citizens’ Climate Lobby have been singularly focused on building bipartisan support for national climate action. Why commit to this seemingly impossible task? Because without national climate policy, we simply can’t stabilize the climate. Also, it turns out this task may not be so impossible after all. Since 2019 half a dozen carbon pricing bills have been introduced in Congress. The Energy Innovation Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) has the most bipartisan support with 82 cosponsors, including Representative Pingree. These carbon pricing bills do not solve the climate crisis alone. But they do more than any other single policy (see MIT’s En-ROADS online climate simulator).
Carbon cash-back support grows
Carbon fee and dividend (“carbon cash-back”) policies enjoy growing support across ideologies. In brief, carbon fee and dividend policies put a price on industrial carbon emissions and return the net revenue to everyone. When explained to Democrats, it enjoys very high support (80% according to the Luntz polling group). It also enjoys 75% support from Republicans under 40 years of age!
Citizens’ Climate Lobby has seen this shift in our volunteer lobbying meetings. Republican lawmakers who once avoided the climate conversation now see that the future of their party has nearly the same level of concern for climate as non-Republicans. Carbon fee and dividend is not only more effective than any other single climate policy, it appeals to conservatives’ values like personal autonomy and market efficiency.
For progressives, carbon fee and dividend predominantly benefit low, middle-income, and marginalized Americans. It’s also essential for building successful policy. According to independent analysis, both Joe Biden and the House Select Committee’s climate plans do not meet their own stated goals without a carbon pricing component.
Furthermore, as we learned from the decade of political fighting regarding the Affordable Care Act, bipartisan support is crucial to ensuring political resiliency from future administrations.
So, take heart, climate voters – real change is possible. Thank you for voting!
The Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a nonpartisan grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.