Most of us have reached a point where we understand the problem of climate change, but many of us feel powerless to do anything about it. When I joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), an environmental organization, I was unsure if I could make an impact, but I was quickly proven wrong. After only a few weeks as a member of the Westchester chapter, I had the opportunity to lobby a staffer in my congresswoman’s office. 

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is made up of tens of thousands of Americans who care about climate change and support a carbon fee and dividend. We believe a federal carbon fee and dividend is an effective solution to climate change because it makes sense economically, scientifically, and politically. The policy places a fee on carbon at the top of the supply chain and returns all of the money to the American people in the form of a dividend. The fee will close the loophole that allows businesses to pollute for free and will encourage businesses to shift to renewables and innovate sustainably. If implemented in 2021, the carbon fee and dividend will cut the U.S. CO2emissions in half by 2035 and far exceed the Paris Agreement commitments. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, introduced in the House of Representatives in 2019, will do exactly this. The bill has bipartisan support in the House and currently has 82 co-sponsors. CCL members create political will for the Carbon Dividend Act by getting the endorsements of community leaders, spreading the message in the media, recruiting new members, and lobbying our representatives. 

If you are someone who is looking to jump into climate action, there are a number of ways to get involved. You can go to https://energyinnovationact.org/endorse/ to endorse the bill if you believe your show of support would contribute to our mission. You can write or call your member of Congress asking them to co-sponsor the Carbon Dividend Act. If you would like to join a group of climate activists, you can join the CCL Westchester Chapter by emailing cclwestchesterny@gmail.com or connecting with us through https://citizensclimatelobby.org

If everyone plays their part, our representatives will have no choice but to pass climate legislation that is long lasting and equitable. Join us to protect the things you love in Westchester County and the world. 

Michael Waxman

Co-leader, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Westchester Chapter

The writer is a senior at Scarsdale High School

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