A new model for business climate advocacy

Business Climate Leaders (BCL) is a project of Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL).  It was created in 2015 by CCL volunteers looking for a way to accelerate business advocacy for national climate solutions. Since then, we have developed a uniquely effective approach that can scale to cover businesses and business organizations of all sizes in all major industries and every Congressional district.


BCL Schematic -Smaller.png

Our volunteers work through two channels, Business Sector and Congressional District. In both channels, we emphasize talking with business and community leaders about their climate concerns and actions, we explain CF&D, and we support them in advocating for climate solutions -- especially carbon pricing -- with their Members of Congress.

Our Sector Program engages with climate-leading companies and trade groups in over a dozen different industry sectors. Each “Sector Team” is led and staffed by volunteers recruited for their experience and/or connections in that industry. Each Sector Team shared with develop strategies and messaging for reaching prospective leaders in their industry. This information is geared towards educating businesses about what a CF&D would mean to them and their sector.

Our District Program is rooted in CCL Chapters and their Congressional districts. We focus on Congressional Districts and States with either 1) high CF&D “swing” potential (e.g. Republicans on the House Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus), or strong partnership potential with major companies or NGOs. Using our proven methodology, we help the Chapters to organize, train, and support their Grasstops Outreach “GO Teams”.

Our Steering Committee seeks and develops partnerships with national environmental/climate NGOs, linking their place-based advocacy programs with our GO Teams for joint outreach and lobbying. We continuously look for connections that will increase our leverage.

BUSINESS CLIMATE LEADER BENEFITS

Companies join BCL because it helps them (either publicly or privately):  

  • Move Congress towards responsible and effective climate legislation.

  • Educate and activate their corporate government affairs and lobbyists to advocate for such legislation.

  • Demonstrate their climate leadership both nationwide and in targeted Congressional districts.

  • Enhance their corporate brand reputation.

  • Benefit from unique coalitions that powerfully magnify the voice of business.

BUSINESS CLIMATE LEADER ACTIVITIES

We advise and support companies in any of the following actions, or other ideas that are consistent with our principles and goals.  

ENCOURAGE CONGRESS TO TAKE MEANINGFUL ACTION ON CLIMATE

  • Participate in meetings which include members of Congress, other business leaders, mayors, chambers of commerce, community leaders, NGOs, and other government officials, and CCL members.

  • Encourage companies in your supply chain and/or industry associations to join BCL efforts.

  • Endorse Carbon Pricing Principles or CCL’s Carbon Fee & Dividend proposal to guide members of Congress.

MEET WITH THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

  • Explain the material risks and opportunities for your business from climate disruption.

  • Describe what you are doing to be sustainable and how it relates to climate.

  • Discuss your sustainability goals.

  • Ask legislators to take specific actions on climate.

ENGAGE WITH CITIZENS' CLIMATE LOBBY CHAPTERS

Invite a CCL speaker to lead a discussion on climate change with your employees.

PURSUE OTHER MEANS OF CLIMATE ADVOCACY

  • Give your member of Congress a tour of your plant and explain your sustainability processes and plans.

  • Write an op-ed explaining your company's position on climate.

  • Participate in a regional or nationwide Advocacy Event with other businesses.

  • Educate your employees and customers.


ABOUT CITIZENS' CLIMATE LOBBY 

CCL supports a very specific carbon pricing proposal, a form of Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend.  While BCL welcomes your support for the CCL proposal, BCL's advocacy is policy agnostic.  This approach allows businesses with differing policy preferences to work together to get Congress going because— within that framework— individual companies can speak up for whatever policy details they believe are best and learn from each other in the process.

Read about CCL in the NYT's David Bornstein's Cracking Washington’s Gridlock to Save the Planet

CCL is featured in the National Geographic's series on climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, "... the story of Jay Butera, of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, who has succeeding in bringing congressmen of both parties together to develop legislative solutions to climate change while avoiding unproductive debates about the science."