The Citizens’ Climate Story

The Citizens’ Climate Story

“I used to think that the important people were taking care of the important problems. I don’t think that anymore.” — Marshall Saunders

Founder Marshall Saunders on the steps of the U.S. Capitol

Founder Marshall Saunders on the steps of the U.S. Capitol

Between 1985-2005, real estate developer and philanthropist Marshall Saunders generated more than one million individual micro loans in the developing world. However, Marshall was often troubled by the fact that climate change could easily undo much of the work he had done to help some of the world’s neediest people. Someone, he thought, had to call for a change.

In 2007, Marshall founded Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE) to educate elected and business officials, the media, and the general public about climate change solutions. By empowering ordinary individuals to lead officials towards fair, effective climate solutions, Marshall hoped to build a broad-based national constituency for climate action. From the beginning, CCE reflected Marshall’s vision of a respectful, inclusive, grassroots organization working to find common solutions to the most pressing social and environmental issue of our time.

Today, many Citizens’ Climate Education trainees work with its sister organization, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL). Using CCE-developed tools and methods, volunteers build support for climate action among elected officials and the media. In 2016 alone, CCL volunteers held more than 1,350 meetings with congressional offices, published 2,465 letters to the editor and 283 op-eds, and composed over 40,000 personal letters to members of Congress, in addition to organizing thousands of outreach events.

CCE’s strategy remains simple: to empower individuals to understand their own political and personal power, thus discovering and celebrate their own capacity to make a significant difference in this world. By training supporters to build positive, effective working relationships across partisan and ideological barriers, CCE works towards the day when national climate action is understood by all to be essential for America’s future health and prosperity.