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Citizens Climate Lobby


Martha Christine is a member of the local chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, a national organization that empowers residents to build the political will needed to solve the climate crisis. She’s here to talk about CCL-LV and their local  kickoff event on Sunday, September 22 from 1 to 4 pm at the Fox Environmental Center at Illick’s Mill in Bethlehem. The kick-off will feature Peter Handler, a CCL trainer from Philadelphia, to lead the event.  Peter has been working as a climate change activist for several years and is the Group Leader of the Philadelphia chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. 

1. What is the goal of CCL?

Citizens Climate Lobby has two main goals: to create the political will for a stable climate, and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power.

CCL’s highest priority currently is a consumer-friendly tax on carbon that will speed the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. CCL is working to enact legislation that will put a direct and steadily-increasing fee on carbon-based fuels that will wean our nation off fossil fuels and move us toward greater use of clean energy sources like solar and wind. This legislation will also return revenue from the carbon tax directly to households so that consumers have the income to pay for any costs associated with this transition.

2. How is CCL different from other climate groups in the Lehigh Valley?

With Citizens Climate Lobby, we’re part of a national network of more than 100 chapters focused on creating the political will to change our national energy policies. CCL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that offers the tools and the support to effect change through legislation. The skills learned in training through CCL, such as how to explain complex climate issues, how to write clear concise letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, and how to speak powerfully to elected officials are the basis for all effective environmental lobbying.

We learned about Citizens Climate Lobby from Bill McKibben when he visited Lehigh University this spring. CCL works closely with McKibben’s 350.org and other partners to bring about the change that’s needed.

3. Who should attend the "kickoff"?

Any person who is interested in taking action to create a stable climate is welcome and encouraged to attend. We will also be inviting representatives from various environmental groups across the Lehigh Valley.

In short, anyone should attend who wants to make a difference on this crucial issue.  As climate scientist Dr. James Hansen said about Citizens Climate Lobby: “If you want to join the fight, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group.” 

4. What will people gain from attending?                

They will learn skills that drive change. They’ll meet with other like-minded people from the Lehigh Valley to take specific, effective action and be part of a new and fast-growing national movement.  They’ll also learn the specifics of the CCL endorsed Carbon Tax and Rebate legislation.

5. How can people get more information?

The kickoff meeting of Citizens Climate Lobby-Lehigh Valley chapter will be Sunday, September 22, from 1 to 4 pm at the Fox Environmental Center at Illick’s Mill. The Fox Environmental Center will also be hosting a Butterfly Bash at that time, with a potluck dinner at 4 and butterfly release at 5 pm. CCL attendees are welcome to stay after the meeting to participate in the potluck and butterfly release. Please RSVP if planning to attend the CCL-LV meeting by emailing lehighvalley@citizensclimatelobby.org. That’s lehighvalley@citizensclimatelobby.org, or by calling 484-554-8971. Again, 484-554-8971.

You can also learn more  at citizensclimatelobby.org, or search for our facebook group, Citizens Climate Lobby—Lehigh Valley.  We look forward to seeing you at 1 pm on September 22 at the Fox Environmental Center.