CAPA works with local activists and its partners to petition lawmakers both at the local, state and national level to address smarter domestic policy regarding CO2 emissions, energy and other means of climate change.

Locally we are cosponsors for Solar for Faith Communities and encouraging places of faith to install solar panels.

In the State we support the Clean Energy Jobs Act that calls for a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Read our full plan for Illinois.

Nationally we advocate for the Green New Deal, calling for an economic transformation that includes supporting and being in solidarity with social and environmental justice movements that are affected by a perpetual growth mentality of the fossil fuel industry.

“It is estimated by 2050 there will be between 200 million and 1 billion migrants due to the effects of climate change”

CAPA Climate Group Priorities and Actions

State and Local Priorities and Actions
Our primary focus for the past year has been passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) *       

  • We are represented on the Clean Energy Jobs Coalition that has worked with State-wide environmental groups that developed and proposed CEJA legislation. *
  • During the past year the CAPA Climate Group coordinating a coalition of six other local organizations to write an open letter to Governor Pritzker to take a leadership role in passing this legislation ASAP. This letter was then published in the Chicago Tribune and in the Springfield Register. In addition, each of the organizations posted the letter on their website and social media and encouraged their members to write personal letters to the Governor. (see attached letter) *
  • CAPA Climate Group members met with a number of State Representatives and Senators to encourage them to co-sponsor this legislation. *
  • We will continue to focus our efforts on CEJA until it is passed.

To further expand CEJA in Illinois the CAPA Climate Group has focused our efforts in further expanding the comprehensive energy plan for Illinois. We divided our efforts into two areas;

  1. Regenerative Farming: We recently co-authored an Op-Ed to the Chicago Tribune with the Citizens’ Greener Evanston. It was published in the Evanston Round Table. It addressed the need for a 21st, Century Secretary of Agriculture, who would understand the need for a transformation from corporate ag to regenerative farming methods. This piece was endorsed by SOIL, Chicago, 350 Kishwaukee, and Sunrise Chicago.  Three our members have written LTE to the NYT regarding the need for a Sec. of Agriculture who would understand the environmental and climate issues related to corporate agriculture: overuse of pesticides; contamination of our waterways; depletion of the natural ecosystems of the soil that provide the nutrients of healthy foods; and worker exposures to toxic chemicals. Finally, regenerative soil management has the ability to sequester up to 2.5 metric tons of CO2 per acre annually (USDA-NRCS), and sequester enough carbon to make the agricultural sector climate-neutral (EPA GHG Emission Inventory). We lost the battle for our endorsed candidates for Sec. of Ag. (Rep. C. Pingree and Rep. M. Fudge).  Biden has named Tom Vilsack to this cabinet position. Vilsack held this position during the Obama administration and he has a history of supporting corporate agriculture and corporate profits over the need for healthy foods, worker safety, environmental contamination and climate resilience measures. 

We will be working with Senator Durbin and other potential allies in congress who sit on the House and Senate Agriculture committees to monitor and shape the next four years of legislation affecting our farmers, our foods, our environment and climate. 

  1. Divesting state of ILLINOIS PENSIONS from fossil fuels and Investing in Renewable Energy. The CAPA Climate Group focused our efforts on the five largest state-run retirement plans.
  • These five plans manage a total of $100 billion in investments.
  • We identified the key executives in each of these plans.
  • We have now made presentations to all of the Boards to encourage them to divest in fossil fuels and invest in renewable sources of energy
  • One of our Board members has made each of these presentations and then followed-up with a copy of this presentation to each Board member.
  • We will continue to follow-up with these Board members as we go forward providing them with additional information on the advantages of divesting in fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy.

The CAPA Climate Group is now at the beginning stages of working with local Go-Green community groups on expanding community solar.

  • We will be working with a solar provider who is now in the process of building solar farms in rural Illinois and providing incentives FOR private citizens, non-profit organizations and religious communities to sign-on to community solar.

National Priorities and Actions

For the sixty days prior to the November 3rd. election the Climate Group spent most of our efforts in supporting national initiatives to elect a climate friendly President and Vice President. We are pleased that the Biden/Harris administration will enable us to finally move forward to address the climate crisis on a national and global basis.

  1. We have reviewed the Biden Climate Plan they recently established and we are overall pleased with the wholistic approach of the plan, the emphasis on climate justice and the funding of $2 trillion dollars in support of this plan. However, there are two specific areas that needs to be improved. First, we need to get to a minimum of 70% reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2030 not the 45% specified in the current plan. Second, we need to be 100% carbon free by 2040 not 2050 that is currently in the plan. These two changes would put this national climate plan in sync with the UN Emissions Program recommendations that are presently in place.
  1. Recommendations on climate actions in the first 100 days of President Elect Biden. – CAPA recently joined a major national initiative of 20 national environmental organizations and 500 local environmental organizations.  The initiative is called #Climate President. This initiative makes specific recommendations to President Elect Biden on climate action he should take in his first 100 days in office starting on January 20th, 2021.  Some of these recommendations include, declaring a Climate Emergency, overturning the destructive Trump executive orders that were signed over the past 4 years, finalize and present to Congress the National Climate Plan that was recently developed. The complete list of these recommendations is on our website.
  1. The Global status performance that is published each year by the U.N. Environmental Program called the Emissions Gap Review. The report indicates that the signature countries Ito the Paris Accords are not meeting their voluntary targets. As a result, unless we are able to make significant progress in getting these countries to increase their targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions our planet is presently on a catastrophic course of warming well beyond the I.5-degree safe limit.
  1. We are presently in the process of further refining our climate strategies for the first half of 2021 and communicating with a number of other like-minded organizations on how and who to best communicate with as President Elect Biden finalizes plans and staff for 2021. We will be finalizing these plans before the first of the year.

The impact of climate change on the future prosperity of the world hinges on whether or not we face the reality now or decide to arrogantly push forward with coal, oil, gas and other means of polluting the planet. The United States and the fossil fuel industry disproportionately contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and compromises the livelihoods and environment across the globe. 

Climate change is directly tied to peace. If unabated, it will lead increasingly to severe food and water shortages, which worsen or cause territorial conflict. It will also lead to coastal flooding, which means mass migrations and increased conflicts as nations grapple with an influx of climate refugees, who currently are not protected under any international law. According to the International Organization for Migration it is estimated by 2050 there will be between 200 million and 1 billion migrants due to the effects of climate change.

As refugees of climate change pour into neighboring lands and countries, they will put great stress on the social and economic systems of their new homes causing conflict with the local population. Countries who may think they are immune to climate refugees in other parts of the world will come under increasing pressure to help support the burden of dealing with people affected by global warming. For instance, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification estimates 30% of population will lack access to water by 2030. 

“30% of world population will not have access to water by the year 2030” 

With the negative effects of climate change on political and economic stability around the world, it is imperative that countries and international bodies seek to both address and prepare for the future. The current administration, with the complicity of Congress, has placed climate change as a low priority. Meanwhile, almost every single country is pushing ahead to develop an economy geared towards the future where climate change is real. Without preparation we risk falling behind both neighbors, partners and competitors. This is why CAPA is taking action to convince lawmakers that climate change must be addressed head on.