MEDIA RELEASE: Sudbury Woman Lobbies Parliament for a Fee on Carbon Pollution and the Dividends given back to the people

Dec 9, 2011

MEDIA RELEASE: Sudbury Woman Lobbies Parliament for a Fee on Carbon Pollution and the Dividends given back to the people

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THE URGENCY:  In the last 200 years, human activity has increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from less than 300 ppm to 392 ppm. This 33% increase in CO2 in the atmosphere has profoundly impacted climate systems. The climate crisis is now urgent. Recent reports in November 2011 highlight this urgency: • The International Energy Agency, not a left-wing agency, has warned that the world has about five years to start reducing emissions before human caused climate change becomes irreversible and dangerous. • The U.S. Department of Energy reports the greatest increase ever in CO2 emissions during 2010. “It is a "monster" increase that is unheard of,” reported one scientist. • The IPCC reported that climate change will make extreme weather more frequent and more severe, meaning we can expect more heat waves, droughts and floods. CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY: Economists worldwide are urging for a price on carbon pollution. Grassroots organizations must create the political will so that politicians can put a price on carbon. Citizens Climate Lobby Canada (founded October 2010) works closely with the Citizens Climate Lobby in the USA (founded in 2007). Across North America in over 20 ridings in Canada and 40 congressional districts in the USA, and rapidly expanding in both countries, Citizen Lobbyists are developing relationships with their federal representatives and lobbying for a fee on carbon pollution. Citizens Climate Lobby is a non-partisan, not for profit, and volunteer organization.

CAP AND TRADE HAS FAILED: Capping carbon pollution produced by corporations and then allowing them to trade carbon credits on the free market, as proposed by Cap and Trade, appears to have failed. The World Bank reported in June that the carbon markets are failing. Failure of world’s largest economy and Canada’s number one trading partner, the United States of America, to pass a cap and trade legislation for carbon pollution reduction is most likely in huge part to blame for the failure of carbon markets to thrive.

CARBON FEE AND DIVIDEND:  Lawyers at Citizens Climate Lobby have written the Carbon Fee and Dividend Act, which proposes a “fee” on carbon pollution produced by the fossil fuel industry for polluting what we all hold in common, the climate, air, water and soil. The fees collected would go directly back to the people as a dividend check. 

CARBON FEE AND DIVIDEND BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS: In October 2011 a bill was introduced by U.S. House by Rep. Pete Stark, The Save Our Climate Act. It proposes a gradually-increasing tax on carbon-based fuels and returns revenue to consumers. Stark’s bill, H.R. 3242, also imposes a tariff on imports from nations that do not have similar carbon pricing. This provides a strong incentive for other nations to adopt their own fee on carbon pollution.

CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBYISTS ON PARLIAMENT HILL: Given what’s at stake, including the future of human civilization and Canada’s international reputation, the Canadian government needs to give serious consideration to pricing carbon pollution, particularly since the Harper government has previously committed to following the U.S.’s lead on tackling climate change. From November 28-30, 2011 on Parliament Hill, Citizens Climate Lobbyists, including Cathy Orlando from Sudbury, lobbied12 parliamentarians in Ottawa for a fee on carbon pollution and the dividends paid to the people including:  Elizabeth May (GPC, Climate Caucus member), Kirsty Duncan (Liberal, IPCC scientist and Climate Caucus member ), Michael Chong (Conservative, Climate Caucus member), Denise Savoie (NDP, Climate Caucus member), Glenn Thibeault (NDP), Megan Leslie (NDP, Environment Critic), Carol Hughes (NDP), Romeo Saganash (NDP), Claude Gravelle (NDP), Malcolm Allen (NDP), Dan Harris (NDP) and Libby Davies (NDP). Our goals were to develop relationships with politicians, introduce them to the Carbon Fee and Dividend Act, inform them about Citizens Climate Lobby and gain a better understanding of the obstacles facing politicians to steer the planet away from global climate collapse. We achieved our goals.

PREVIOUS LOBBYING EFFORTS BY CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY CANADA: On November 2, 2011, Cathy Orlando met with Senator Grant Mitchell, a senator from Edmonton AB, to discuss The Carbon Fee and Dividend Act, Citizens Climate Lobby, and creating political will for a stable climate. In September 2011, Cathy Orlando and a small delegation of Citizens Climate Lobbyists, attended the Civil Society meeting at The World Bank in Washington DC. They lobbied for the prioritization of backing loans for renewable energy projects and cessation of backing loans for fossil fuel projects.  They also gathered information on the current state of the carbon markets, renewable energy projects, social justice and the global economy. In June 2011, 85 Citizens Climate Lobbyists, including five Canadians Lobbied 150 representative of Capital Hill in Washington for a carbon fee and dividend bill. 


Contact: Cathy Orlando, Project Manager of Citizens Climate Lobby Canada