18 November 2016, 9:00 am GMT

The COP22 shows us how citizens, government and investment leaders can make the low-carbon economic transition irreversible

The COP22 UN climate negotiations in Marrakech focused on pathways for implementing the Paris Agreement, through national policy, shifting of finance, and international cooperation. The COP22 Climate Finance Pathway was a critical outcome, and the Resilience Intel effort is designed to support its application in local, national and international policy.

MARRAKECH—The world is gathered here in Marrakech to make sure strategies for fulfilling national climate commitments are aligned with the need to escalate ambition, reward over-achievement, and actively co-create a new climate economy. The Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network, and partners, came to Marrakech to focus attention on three catalytic areas of action: citizen engagement, carbon pricing, and shifting to clean finance across the world.

Daring innovators like Solar Impulse are building global collaborative communities for climate-smart innovation. Partners contribute ideas, resources, inventive capacity, and know-how, to ensure cutting-edge solutions come along sooner, rather than later. The technical achievements inherent in their work are making new innovations possible in many other fields.

Finance will shift to follow the most efficient new ways of operating in the world. If just 1/12 of bonds moving into climate-smart investment strategies, $1 trillion per year would be going to work to secure our climate future.

This week, after an election that could shift U.S. national climate policy away from the Paris framework, nearly 300 Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers met with 350 Congressional offices in Washington, DC, to engage in practical conversations about a carbon fee with 100% dividend to all households. Such a plan can put the U.S. far ahead of the curve for emissions reductions, while spurring new investment in Main Street businesses and sustained, inclusive economic recovery.

The climate-focused empowerment of citizens to become local leaders, conveners, and coordinators of climate action, is one of the market signals not often discussed as a driver of this new economy.

To make sure this signal only gets stronger over time, the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network is building a mechanism by which stakeholders can directly contribute their local knowledge, their testimony about climate vulnerability, and their vision for a climate-smart future, to each of the Nationally Determined Contributions that will combine to end the climate crisis. The NDCs and future climate agreements can become convening spaces where people across the world have an opportunity to build their local genius into climate policy.

A planet-wide collaborative transition is underway, and that is where the smart money needs to go. To ensure the COP22 is remembered as the spur to action, we will be working with partners to ensure that citizens, government, entrepreneurs and innovators are co-creating a new economic model, where climate stewardship and low-carbon innovation are core value propositions. 

Contact: Joseph Robertson, Global Strategy Director for Citizens’ Climate Education and Citizens’ Climate Lobby, at

Press Conference at COP22

Joseph Robertson, who is also head of delegation for Citizens’ Climate Education at the COP22 in Marrakech, chaired a press conference yesterday, touching on these subjects, and featuring Laughlin Artz, Executive Director of the 2020 or Bust climate action campaign, and Blanca Chancosa, from the Red de Mujeres de Abya Yala Chaski Warmi, Ecuador.


The 25-minute press conference focuses on ways direct citizen participation can improve information flows, expand the civic space, and ensure policy design more attuned to and benefitting from knowledge of need and operational capabilities in local communities. Highlighting the power of combining local citizen participation, the need for building recognizable connections between the global policy process and life lived locally, and new technology platforms that can facilitate engagement, the CCE press briefing laid out a different, more hopeful, more action-focused vision of what’s next in the global process.

The video of this press briefing can be seen here, on the UNFCCC site: