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Many great moments at climate conference - Cathy Orlando

During the week of June 23, 2013, for the third year in a row, I attended the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) Conference and Lobbying days in Washington, DC.
During the week of June 23, 2013, for the third year in a row, I attended the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) Conference and Lobbying days in Washington, DC.

Alongside 19 other Canadians, including fellow Sudburian Pamela Charron and 370 citizens lobbyists, we lobbied 486 representatives for a revenue neutral carbon tax.

In the opening moments of the conference, the founder of Citizens Climate Lobby, Marshall Saunders, reminded us that we are “in a battle for all of life, not just human kind, but all life,” and ended his speech with “there is no choice about it, we are going to win.”

He then asked the Canadian delegation to lead conference in the singing of O’Canada. Some of us had tears in our eyes as we sang the last line, “We stand on guard for thee.”

The Canadians at the conference had our own break-out session. For the past six months we have been collaborating on a master plan for creating the political will for a revenue neutral carbon tax in Canada by 2015.

Fifteen teleconference calls and umpteen phone calls later, I presented them with the almost final draft of our master plan which they poured over and made even better.

One of my personal highlights was our meeting with the honourable Tom Hockin, the Executive Director of the Canada, Irish and Caribbean division at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr. Hockin was an MP under the Brian Mulroney government. I shared with Mr. Hockin that I met Prime Minister Mulroney in 1990 and thanked Canada’s greenest PM personally for the Acid Rain Treaty and Montreal Protocol.

We then had a deep discussion about carbon fee and dividend and how the IMF and CCL could work together. In the concluding moments Mr Hockin chatted privately with me and asked after Sudbury. He was incredibly sincere and generous with his time.

Additionally, I have immense gratitude to Jonathan Rothschild, at the Canadian, Irish and Caribbean division at the World Bank. He arranged for an incredible meeting of minds between CCL and World Bank officials that I was part of.

While we were lobbying, President Obama serendipitously made a speech on climate change.

It appears that expensive regulatory mechanisms to mitigate climate change may be the only path forward for the USA given the roadblocks the Republican Congress have put up for climate action.

I just can’t believe that Republicans would chose expensive regulatory mechanisms by the EPA to mitigate climate change instead of a simple revenue neutral carbon tax, which would not increase government coffers.

Time will tell what will happen.
CCL is here to help any politician of any political stripe protect all life from the ravages of human caused climate change.

Stay tuned because in November 2013, Canada’s Citizens Climate Lobby has a conference and lobbying days planned for Ottawa.

Cathy Orlando
national manager,
Canada’s Citizens Climate Lobby