Peter Kirby, Board Member and Acting Executive Director in 2021
Cathy Carruthers, Board Chair
2021 arrived with an air of change, possibility and progress. For the climate movement, hope that had been dwindling could now be revived and directed into fervent action. Safe and effective vaccines began to blunt the impacts of the pandemic, the U.S. rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, and Congress passed monumental stimulus and infrastructure packages.
Still, this federal progress was far from enough. States continued to lead the way on climate policy in 2021: setting ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, implementing climate action plans, and taking steps to protect and promote those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Landmark climate legislation was passed around the nation, including setting bold emissions targets in Massachusetts, enacting carbon pollution pricing in Washington state, and directing green investment benefits to disproportionately impacted communities in Colorado.
Although progress has been made at the state level, the world is faced with increasingly grim threats from a changing climate. In fact, it’s imperative to continue pushing, and the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report emphasizes the need for urgent action. To reinforce our efforts to pass needed climate policy, Climate XChange invested in staff capacity, growing our capability and impact.
Newly-hired Organizers in Maryland and Massachusetts expanded and strengthened our coalitions while building grassroots support for climate legislation. Our Research team bolstered important state-level policies across the U.S. with supporting research on their impacts. The State Climate Policy Network (SCPN) fostered deeper connections between decision makers and those working to help the people and places of our planet. And our SCPN and Research teams partnered with several outside organizations to launch our new State Climate Policy Dashboard, which tracks implemented policies and highlights states leading the charge. We anticipate that this Dashboard platform, a first-of-its-kind technology solution, will become a true digital enabler of State Climate Policy nationwide.
All of this work wouldn’t be possible without the generous help from our donors, raffle participants, members, and partners. As we look forward, the need to invest in local climate policies has never been clearer. Recent world events are continuing to show the volatility of fossil fuels and underscore the need to transition to a clean energy economy. We look forward to continuing our work passing effective and just state-level legislation in 2022.
Mission and Vision
Our mission is to achieve a durable and just decarbonization of the U.S. economy by facilitating climate policy at the state level.
We empower state policy makers, business leaders, and advocates with the information and resources they need to pass climate policies that best serve local communities. We believe that we can, and must, address the overlapping challenges of environmental justice, health, and inequality to deliver a transformed economy that finally puts people first.
At Climate XChange, we support passing effective and equitable climate policy through two strategies:
State Climate Policy Network
Connecting thousands and harnessing the power of shared tools and resources
Building broad coalitions to champion climate legislation at the state level, focusing in Massachusetts and Maryland
These strategies are driven by expertise in two core areas:
Informing policy through cutting-edge economic modeling and data
Sharing science-based information and compelling stories
2021 In Review
In 2021, we set out to strengthen the foundation of our network, which became more interconnected during the pandemic as a result of our ability to convene and collaborate virtually.
We expanded our capacity to help pass effective state climate policy and empowered members across the country to do the same. Our State Climate Policy Network forged powerful relationships, exchanged effective strategies, and launched an interactive online tool with the potential to reach thousands of lawmakers and activists.
We published reports that evaluated the numerous benefits of green investment, engaging articles with insight into current climate topics, and perspectives that amplified the voices of our network members. Collectively, our work reached over 100,000 policymakers, researchers, and advocates through our website in 2021.
We deepened our work in Maryland and Massachusetts, building diverse coalitions of legislators, business leaders, and community members. Our advocacy teams remain committed to leveraging our connections to pass effective climate bills that put people first.
State Climate Policy Network
State Climate Policy Network
The State Climate Policy Network is an expanding program that connects more than 16,000 policymakers and advocates across the country. We created the SCPN to improve interstate collaboration, share best practices, and give members the tools they need to pass effective state-level climate policy.
State Climate Policy Dashboard
We launched the State Climate Policy Dashboard in direct response to a growing gap in the way climate leaders and changemakers share information. Our work with advocates, researchers, and policymakers through the SCPN revealed to us an urgent need for the consolidation of data and information to address inefficiencies within the climate movement. We mobilized last year to fill this space by building a digital hub that assembles extensive research, reports, and toolkits into one place — the State Climate Policy Dashboard. This interactive online database tracks 60 climate policies across all 50 states and offers practical legislative resources on seven policy sectors. The Dashboard, with its Policy Tracker and Resource Hub, is the most comprehensive database currently available to the public on state climate policy.
Since launching the Dashboard in November, the project has seen almost 13,000 pageviews, which is more than 20 percent of our traffic during this time period. The data on the Dashboard is peer reviewed, and we are currently partnering with more than a dozen other leading organizations to ensure accuracy and eliminate silos and duplication in the sector. The State Climate Policy Dashboard not only helps us communicate policy progress and identify areas for improvement, but it also empowers and informs actors and decision makers at every level of the climate movement.
National Policy Calls held with an average of 345 attendees per call
Networking Events piloted to connect actors within and across state lines with an average of 348 attendees per event
Deep Dive Webinars hosted with an average of 354 attendees per webinar
fellowship cohorts completed, each with 15 students who researched climate policy, forged connections with technical experts, and wrote articles on what they learned
members added to the State Climate Policy Network, growing it by 60%
Legislator Climate Solutions Calls held with an average of 125 attendees per call
93% of legislators said the call was useful in their climate advocacy efforts
We are working in Massachusetts and Maryland to advance transformative climate policy, and in doing so, we are setting the pace for the rest of the country. We are on the ground building diverse coalitions of community stakeholders, businesses, and lawmakers as well as testifying in support of landmark climate bills. Our legislative goals are to direct climate change planning, help those most in need, and make polluters pay for the transition to a sustainable economy.
In 2021, we launched Green Future Now, a broad coalition with the goals of investing in green infrastructure across Massachusetts and holding polluters accountable. The coalition has since grown into a group with 42 member organizations and advocates for the passage of the Green Future Act. This bill, which gained 89 legislative co-sponsors, will raise $10 billion and invest in a sustainable green economy.
This year, we authored the Investing in a Better Massachusetts series, which was a comprehensive investigation into the jobs, health, and community benefits of green investment. This two-part series combined quantitative economic models with in-depth community interviews to distill a compelling picture of what green investments can do for Massachusetts. The work was used by a wide range of in-state and national actors, including the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), the House Green Recovery Task Force, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
This year, we organized volunteer efforts to write 4,000 postcards and call thousands of voters in key districts. We held more than two dozen meetings with community groups, town committees, and elected officials to promote the Green Future Act. More than 50 economists in Massachusetts signed an open letter to say that the Green Future Act will benefit the state’s economy and over 120 municipal leaders, including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, in support of the bill.
We strengthened our advocacy in Maryland by launching the Rebuild Maryland Coalition, a diverse group of stakeholders that are seeking to pass major climate change legislation. Since its launch, the Rebuild Maryland Coalition has gained 70 member organizations advocating for the passage of the Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice Act. Introduced in late 2021 for the 2022 session, the bill will set statewide emission reduction goals and put a price on carbon pollution. The revenue from this bill will be invested in sustainable infrastructure while protecting low-moderate income households and energy intensive businesses during the transition to a clean economy.
We also hosted a policy forum that was attended by six of the 12 candidates for Maryland governor. This virtual roundtable gave candidates the opportunity to communicate to voters their visions for the state’s sustainable future.
In September, we sponsored a rally at the University of Maryland with nearly 50 students, community members, and climate activists. Over a dozen of these students now volunteer for the Rebuild Maryland Coalition to take action on the climate crisis.
Our coalition’s work was mentioned in numerous publications throughout the year, and our opinion articles were published in Maryland Matters, The Diamondback, The Montgomery County Sentinel, and others.
Climate XChange has a bright future under the leadership of our new Executive Director, Paola Ferreira Miani. Paola has ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond, which include growing the reach of the SCPN, scaling the Dashboard for greater impact, and building up research capacity to enable greater science-backed action. Paola’s extensive advocacy experience will bolster the efforts of our state campaigns, and her domestic and international policy background will be a tremendous asset to our team. As the former Executive Director of Tropical Audubon Society, her organizational leadership skills will amplify our team’s work and fortify our position as a leading voice on climate change. With Paola at the helm, the year ahead will be one of progress and impact at Climate XChange!
Paola Ferreira Miani, Executive Director
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