London Declares Climate Emergency, Strengthening Global Movement

London Mayor Sadiq Kahn joined with the City Assembly in declaring Climate Emergency and accelerating the city’s efforts to transform its economy to carbon-neutrality by 2030.

London BECOMES 11th City Worldwide To Set Realistic Timeline for Shift to Carbon-Free Economy In Order to Restore a Safe Climate

Today, London Mayor Sadiq Kahn joined with the City Assembly in declaring Climate Emergency and accelerating the city’s efforts to transform its economy to carbon-neutrality by 2030.

Kahn’s declaration comes on the heels of a similar motion by the London City Assembly, calling for a plan from the mayor. The Assembly’s statement specifically cited the work of The Climate Mobilization organizers in the U.S. cities of Hoboken and Berkeley. London becomes the third city in the U.K. to declare a Climate Emergency, after Bristol and Manchester, which have also set aggressive zero-carbon goals.

“We are in the midst of a climate emergency which poses a threat to our health, our planet and our children and grandchildren’s future,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the Guardian UK, adding “City Hall is doing everything in our power to mitigate the risk in London but the stark reality is that we need urgent government action and funding.”

London follows six cities and counties in the United States and three in Australia that have declared a Climate Emergency and committed to emergency actions to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and enact other local policies to create a just transition and avoid the catastrophic consequences of irreversible climate change.

Kahn’s message to the national government mirrors our strategy advocating for a World War II scale Climate Mobilization. Our city by city campaign pushes cities and counties to declare “Climate Emergency” and demand that their state and national governments move into action.

Our Executive Director, Margaret Klein Salamon, Ph.D on the declaration:

“Declaring a Climate Emergency is a crucial step in the effort to meet the existential challenge of climate change at the scale of the crisis. Londoners modeled courage in the face of fascism during WWII, and they are doing so again. We deeply appreciate that the City of London is stepping up to lead.”

This declaration comes on the heels of sustained protests from Extinction Rebellion — a new movement originating in the U.K. and now operating internationally — that is demanding an emergency response to climate change. Recent nonviolent actions by Extinction Rebellion participants have shut down London streets in an effort to elevate their demands.

London and Extinction Rebellion join a network of organizations, individuals, and political leaders throughout the United States and Australia that have been coalescing around a set of core principles in what has been described as an emerging Climate Emergency Movement.

The Climate Emergency Movement advanced in the U.S. in recent weeks, with calls from Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and leading progressive Democrats to establish a select committee on a Green New Deal. The proposed policy framework calls for a transition to a renewable energy system within 10 years.  

Core tenets of the Climate Emergency Movement include demands such as:

  • Decade transition to a zero-carbon economy (10 years or less to achieve net-zero or net-negative emissions across every sector)

  • Government, individual, and private sector spending to save as much life as possible (human and non-human) in the coming decades

  • Replacing the fossil fuel economy with economic development investments that meet human needs and respect human rights

The City of Los Angeles has been working to create a city-wide Climate Emergency Mobilization Department. Under the leadership of City Councilmember Paul Koretz, along with The Leap, and a coalition of leading environmental justice organizations called Leap L.A., Los Angeles is close to creating the nation’s first ever Climate Emergency Mobilization Department, which will be tasked with implementing the sweeping city-wide changes necessary to race to zero emissions and beyond.

“The tide is quickly turning toward the true climate emergency response we’ve been lacking for two decades,” said L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, the author of the first Climate Emergency Mobilization Department legislation, adding “I’m so pleased to see one of the great historic cities of the world joining Darebin, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, and Santa Cruz in emergency mobilization of the planet toward protecting the one thing we all have in common: our beautiful, fragile, majestic, and thus far still habitable Earth.”

The Cities of Berkeley, Richmond, Oakland, and Santa Cruz have declared Climate Emergency and begun a regional mobilization of the wider California Bay Area. Maryland’s Montgomery County and the city of Hoboken, New Jersey have also made the declaration, with many more local declarations in the works.

Climate change is an extraordinary crisis, and the international effort to stop it is almost unprecedented. The closest historical parallel to such an effort  is the economic mobilization of the allied powers, especially the United States, as they entered World War II. This example formed the basis for our Victory Plan, which proposes emergency intervention to avert the destruction of life on earth.

London’s city government will publish an analysis Wednesday demonstrating the need for massive investment and additional governing powers to achieve its 2030 target. The program will include retrofitting buildings, creating a  national electricity system that runs without creating greenhouse gas emissions, and electrifying the transportation system across the board.

Read about London’s declaration and plan in the Guardian UK.

Thumbnail image credit
Chris Beckett under Creative Commons license.

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Alexia Leclerq

Network Coach

Alexia (she/they) is an environmental justice organizer based in Austin, TX. They graduated summa cum laude from NYU (’20), where they self-designed a major titled “The Politics and Economics of Inequality.” Their research focuses on political ecology, environmental justice, AAPI communities, inequality, postcolonialism. As an organizer and researcher they have spent the past 5 years working on various issues from preserving the Colorado River, water rights, fighting land use policy and zoning that enforces race-based discrimination, conducting ethnographic research on climate health, to organizing mutual aid, youth programming, and shaping national legislation alongside members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance; today Alexia continues to work as an organizer with PODER, a grassroots EJ org. Alexia is also the co-founder of Start: Empowerment, a BIPOC led social and environmental justice education non-profit working with youth, educators, activists, and community members to implement justice-focused education and programming in schools and community spaces. S:E curriculum and programming has reached over 2,000 students, been recognized by the NYC Department of Education, and taught in universities. In 2021, their work was recognized by the prestigious Brower Youth Award.

Emmett Hopkins

Co-Leader and Director of Operations & Programs

Emmett manages operations and leads Climate Mobilization’s intersectional organizing around transportation justice, where he works with local community groups to build commitment, alignment and action among frontline constituents who rely on public transit and active transportation modes. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to activate power towards equitable, climate-friendly transportation systems, build mutual-aid-based community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition. In 2021, Emmett developed an online platform for collaborative, community-scale visioning of a just, zero-carbon future. In 2022 he helped launch a transit riders union in Sonoma County, CA, which has engaged in mutual aid, storytelling, and a successful campaign to win fare-free buses and expanded frequency.

Suha Dabbouseh

National Organizer

National Organizer Suha Dabbouseh leads national strategy for The Climate Mobilization. They are originally from Chicago but have lived, organized and rebel-roused in seven states and 11 cities. Suha received their law degree from CUNY-School of Law where they focused on social justice lawyering representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay. While practicing law, Suha had worked to advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors, transgender clients and fighting employment discrimination. Their passion is building people power and organizing to dismantle structural inequities.

Matt Renner

Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization

Matt has worked as a nonprofit executive in clean energy, climate policy, and journalism for over a decade, focusing on the near-term social and economic impacts of climate change. He leads organizational expansion and works closely with the communications and organizing teams. Matt earned a BA in political science from UC Berkeley, where he was deeply inspired by the work of Professor George Lakoff.

Mariyah Jahangiri

Co-Leader and Network & Movement Building Director

Mariyah is a first-generation Pakistani community organizer who is on a life-long journey of working to create alternative, anti-capitalist models of collective healing, popular education, community organizing, and revolution. She has been inspired by studying social movements and organizing in many movement ecosystems and geographies – most recently in Cape Town, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, and currently in Los Angeles. At Climate Mobilization, she is a Network Organizer where she leads programming, coaching, and other resource development for a learning hub of 43+ local decarbonization and climate justice campaigns. She also develops strategy for youth, BIPOC-led, climate movements alongside the Network Support Team at Power Shift Network, and is currently leading a Pakistani collective spearheading political education on the need for climate reparations to the Global South and coordinating grassroots fundraising for Pakistan flood relief efforts. She also recently organized with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to base-build in Wilmington and San Pedro alongside low-income API communities most impacted by extractive industries in Los Angeles.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization

Rebecca has been with Climate Mobilization since 2019 leading our organizing efforts. In this role, she has coached dozens of local climate groups, coordinated organizing trainings, and launched the campaign for a national Climate Emergency Declaration. In July 2021, she collaborated with Acton, MA residents to launch Housing and Climate Justice for Acton, a renters rights and climate justice group led by public housing and Section 8 renters and other low-income residents, and has already won several campaigns. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca previously worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools and as the Development and Communications Manager at Latino Union of Chicago, an immigrants’ and workers’ rights organization. She is a 2017 graduate of the Reframe Mentorship in strategic communications and a 2019 participant in the Anne Braden Organizer Training Program.

Marina Mails

Co-Leader and Director of Operations
Marina manages operations and volunteers for both The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. She brings broad experience working in non-profit organizations, health care settings, and running her own private counseling practice. Before joining Climate Mobilization, Marina maintained a practice focusing exclusively on climate-related emotional coping, helping people make bold choices for lifestyle and professional change in response to the Climate Emergency. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Counseling from UNC Greensboro.

Meghann Beer

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization and Strategy

Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. For over a decade Meghann has worked as a nonprofit consultant helping organizations expand their capacity, secure revenue, develop successful strategies, and effectively evaluate their programs, enabling them to create greater positive change in the world. She has also worked as an executive director, designed and facilitated international service learning experiences, and taught university courses in fundraising and nonprofit management. Meghann earned a MPA in Nonprofit Management and Comparative and International Affairs from The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN and a BA in Art History and American Studies from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

Cris Lagunas

Strategy Director

Cris is helping to grow the Climate Emergency Movement by supporting creative campaigns and extending the reach of the movement’s message. Cris is a co-founder of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an organization dedicated to using direct action tactics to expose, challenge and dismantle the immigration detention system.Cris got his start in organizing when he was 15 years old, getting involved in a local group of fellow undocumented youth.

Zack Burley

Policy Associate

Zack provides policy support for the Climate Mobilization team, and brings a versatile set of policy skills and experiences in labor organizing, journalism, legislative politics, and legal practice to the climate emergency movement. Zack earned a JD from Denver University Sturm College of Law, is a founding organizer of the Political Workers Guild of Colorado, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Colorado General Assembly.

AriDy Nox

Co-Leader and Director of Narrative Strategy

 AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist with a variety of forward-thinking creative works under her/their belt. They create out of the vehement belief that creating a future in which marginalized peoples are free requires a radical imagination. Their tales are offerings intended to function as small parts of an ancient, expansive, awe-inspiring tradition of world-shaping, created by and for black femmes. They have over a decade of experience as a young social activist and organizer, within reproductive justice and racial justice frameworks with organizations like the Young Women of Color Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth, the Toni Cade Bamabara Collective at Spelman College and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. They bring creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role and deep belief that times of apocalypse are opportunities for rebirth. We need first imagine the world we want in order to create it.