Lobbying to Stop Climate Change

Publicity Photo of Michael Chajes

On April 21, 2017, Green Liaisons hosted our last lunch of the spring semester with a talk by Dr. Michael Chajes, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UD and a Founding Member of Delaware’s Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). Dr. Chajes spoke about the fundamentals of climate change, and then about CCL’s plan to stop climate change using a carbon pricing proposal.

CCL, an international, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which has hundreds of chapters across the U.S. and the world, believes that the solution to climate change should begin at the economic and political level. Based on the idea that the industries making fossil fuels available do not currently have to pay for the externalities of their products (for example, health effects such as asthma), CCL proposes a carbon fee and dividend program, whereby industries would pay a fee when they take a fossil fuel out of the ground, and then that money would be paid back to citizens in the form of a dividend each year. In their plan, CCL has also accounted for the need for a border adjustment both into and out of the country, as most countries do not currently have a plan in place like this one.

According to CCL, this plan could bring emissions levels to 50% below 1990s levels in just 20 years. This plan is also intended to provide net job growth, net GDP growth, and, in the long-term, improved health and wellbeing of citizens.

Members of CCL do public speaking, attend tablings, write letters-to-the-editors and op-eds, and meet with members of Congress from both parties. Because they are a nonpartisan organization, CCL strives to–and indeed has already–garnered support for a carbon fee and dividend program from both sides of the political spectrum.

If you’re interested, you can get involved with the Delaware chapter or with any of the other many CCL chapters nearby. Check out CCL’s website for more info!

And you can see Dr. Chajes’s entire talk for Green Liaisons here!