Savoring Collaborative Intelligence

Citizens’ Climate Lobby report from the Pathway to Paris working session at the World Bank Civil Society Forum

Our Pathway to Paris World Bank Working Session, held at the Civil Society Policy Forum on Wednesday, April 15, focused on the role of direct citizen participation in the global climate negotiations. For many reasons, direct citizen participation has been limited:

  1. One is there are already tens of thousands of people participating, representing interests, issues, places, solutions, grievances, and legal constructs.
  2. Another is that intergovernmental negotiations generally treat the interests of citizens and stakeholders as the province of their government officials. The sovereignty and political process of nations stand in for direct engagement.
  3. A third is that citizen participation is often equated to referenda, which are not always the best expression of the will of the people or the safest route to the policy that most benefits those voting.
  4. But a fourth, and perhaps most significant, is that we just don’t have a strong tradition of such engagement in multilateral negotiations.

Our working session produced powerful practical insights into the value of inclusive policy-making, stakeholder engagement, and outcomes that account for and embrace the complications of difference and variability. Continue reading “Savoring Collaborative Intelligence”

OPED: When citizens are involved, lawmakers respond

The people have a right to co-create policy with our representatives.

Political analysts around the world have been noting the extreme negative tone of the 2014 midterm election campaign in the U.S. Outside groups that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on smears and innuendo are degrading the political debate. The ugliness of the campaign has exacerbated the bitterness many Americans feel toward the political process itself.

That bitterness tends to be connected to a feeling of detachment or of access denied. People believe they do not have access to their elected officials and that the parties do not respond to their day-to-day needs. This detachment is driven partly by the apparent inability of leading national political figures to work together, which leaves a great deal of important work unfinished.

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A Call for Global Citizenship

Report from the World Bank / IMF Civil Society Forum

JR-question.jpgIn the years I have been attending and contributing to the World Bank / IMF Civil Society Policy Forum, I have witnessed a distinct and ongoing evolution. Multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF, which are funded by and directed by governments, and which do business with governments, have direct impacts on elements of society that are not in the room when decisions are made. So civil society organizations have an important role to play in highlighting and reducing major risk areas, and in shaping policies that lead to better outcomes.

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Storify: World Bank IMF Civil Society Meetings

Last week’s World Bank / IMF Annual Meetings and Civil Society Forum were a breakthrough opportunity for ciitizen engagement and grassroots policy advocacy, on the inside of two of the world’s most powerful institutions. Citizens’ Climate Lobby was there, advocating for responsible climate policy, in line with the Pathway to Paris core principles. View my … Continue reading Storify: World Bank IMF Civil Society Meetings

Global Climate Strategy Launch, 9/23

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We need all hands on deck.

On the day of the UN Climate Summit, Sept. 23, 2014, Citizens’ Climate Lobby released its fully annotated Global Strategy Whitepaper, and launching its effort to pull together a coalition of stakeholders, thought-leaders, businesses, nonprofits and governments, to achieve an economically efficient, value-building plan to price carbon and transition to climate-smart economic and investment policies.  Continue reading “Global Climate Strategy Launch, 9/23”

Reclaiming Citizenship on Capitol Hill – Part 3

Part 3: 7,200 Hours of Education for Principled Civics

With over 600 volunteers, spending between 8 and 16 hours learning, strategizing and coordinating, the 2014 Citizens’ Climate Lobby Conference provided roughly 7,200 total hours of education. That time empowers volunteers to do better work as citizens on Capitol Hill, but also delivers that training, through them, to our local groups, all across the United States.

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Continue reading “Reclaiming Citizenship on Capitol Hill – Part 3”

Reclaiming Citizenship on Capitol Hill – Part 2

Part 2: Connecting with the Team

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On Friday evening and through Saturday, I had the great good fortune to spend quality time with our committed and tireless staff. A relatively small group of people working extraordinary hours with energy the origins of which are hard to trace, all to make sure this work of getting citizens to Capitol Hill can be accomplished. Sorting through handouts, filling folders, making name tags, coordinating the calendar of events, and facing the merciless but vital chore of getting volunteers’ schedules for Hill meetings worked out, so we can maximize our impact, were the work of those last hours.

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REMI Study Shows Carbon Fee & Dividend Grows Economy

Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), one of the most respected economic modeling firms in the world, has produced a new study, using proven and reliable models, which shows that a steadily rising carbon fee returning 100% of revenues to households would create millions of new jobs, expand GDP and save hundreds of thousands of lives. In the first 10 years alone, the plan would generate 2.1 million net new jobs, across the entire US economy.

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It is commonly thought that putting any kind of price on carbon emissions would cause costs to rise unbearably and the economy to slow disruptively. REMI’s new study The Economic, Climate, Fiscal, Power and Demographic Impact of a National Fee-and-Dividend Carbon Tax [pdf] shows that the manner in which the price is applied is what matters, and that getting it right can relieve and even reverse grave inefficiencies in our current market dynamic.

Continue reading “REMI Study Shows Carbon Fee & Dividend Grows Economy”