Climate XChange recently released our 2021 Impact Report, Investing in Impact. To reinforce our efforts to pass needed climate policy, last year we set out to strengthen the foundation of our growing network. Below is the report’s opening letter from our Acting Executive Director in 2021, Peter Kirby, and Board Chair, Cathy Carruthers.
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 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 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.
Peter Kirby, Board Member and Acting Executive Director in 2021
Cathy Carruthers, Board Chair