An international lobby group promoting an innovative solution to climate change is to hold its first UK conference in Swindon.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is pushing for the introduction of a market-based mechanism called Carbon Fee and Dividend.

CF&D would reduce greenhouse emissions by placing a fee on fossil fuels like gas and coal at their point of entry into the economy, making environmentally-friendly alternatives more competitive.

But unlike other carbon taxes, all of the revenue collected would be returned to UK households – protecting low- and middle-income families from the rising consumer costs associated with the carbon fee.

CCL is a non-party political organisation, and the proposal has won support across the political spectrum, both here and abroad. Business leaders, scientists and economists also support CF&D.

The first UK conference will be held at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon on Saturday, March 16.

“Swindon is a great place to hold our first conference,” said CCL UK spokesperson, Louisa Davison.

“It has good rail links, and our conference centre – the NSBRC – is at the forefront of promoting innovations to make homes greener, from designing new-builds with energy conservation in mind to retrofitting existing buildings.”

The theme of the conference is How To Make A Difference, with experts sharing advice on effective ways of lobbying politicians and bringing about policy change.

“High-profile acts of civil disobedience promoted by groups like Extinction Rebellion, and the school climate strikes inspired by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg have been making headlines and raising awareness of climate change,” said Louisa.

“Our approach is different but complementary: we have respectful discussions with representatives – from local councillors to MPs – and offer a workable solution; a kind and effective answer to climate change that governments can implement.

“The British government is currently looking at options to replace EU carbon pricing with a post-Brexit carbon pricing policy in a bid to lower emissions and make greener technology more competitive.

“But as last year’s riots in Paris proved, rising prices are deeply unpopular with the public unless they are shielded from increased costs – it is the dividend part of our solution that sets this policy apart.”

Keynote speakers include James Close, director of climate change at The World Bank, who has advised the Uk government and treasury on green growth, and the Mayor of London on the Low-Carbon Capital initiative, and Cathy Orlando, international outreach manager for Citizens’ Climate Lobby and director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada.

In 2018, Canada became the first country to adopt Carbon Fee and Dividend as national policy. CF&D is also making its way through the US Congress and is being considered by the governments of the Republic of Ireland, Nigeria, and the Netherlands.

The conference runs from 10am to 5pm. For more information, or to book a place, visit www.citizensclimatelobby.uk

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