In the fight against climate change, nothing is more important than mutual cooperation. Organizations like the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN) facilitate networks of NGOs who share the common goal of helping the environment. Such networks maximize the impact of individual organizations.
USCAN operates under a theory of change which includes three dimensions: relationships, process and results. The network provides the space to foster each. Relationships are built on the local, national and international levels between organizations with diverse approaches to climate change mitigation. USCAN facilitates the process of sharing information through issue briefings and coordination. Ultimately, these three dimensions serve to exponentially increase the impact of the organizations.
Members of USCAN have access to information, resources and services from a coalition of like-minded organizations. Members collaborate over policy recommendations for all levels of government, share information on campaign information such as IPCC reports and spread each other’s message.
To become a member an organization must share the vision that climate change must be fought by both mitigation and adaption. USCAN seeks to understand how climate processes and events affect communities, wildlife and businesses. It recognizes that these effects negatively impact not just the environment but the economy as well. This is why USCAN believes it is in the world’s best economic and environmental interest to fight climate change.
The Guardian highlights the importance of coalitions for affecting change and gives “13 tips on building a coalition to tackle climate change.” One tip is given by Robert Laubacher, the project director of MIT Climate CoLab. He writes that even a small level of collaboration can have a strong influence. Laubacher cautions against focusing too much on government progress, which is slow, and instead to see the virtue in small coalitions of non-governmental organizations — coalitions that USCAN helps to build.
Individual efforts to mitigate climate change are organized through societal organizations. USCAN, in turn, coordinates the efforts of the societal organizations, thus transforming the passion and desire of an individual into lasting change in the fight against climate change.
– Julianne O’Connor