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The exponential growth of local Climate Emergency declarations

This time last year, only 2 local governments in the United States and a small handful of cities around the world had made a declaration of Climate Emergency. As of March 22, 2019, 413 local governments had declared a Climate Emergency and made a commitment to rapid, just transition away from fossil fuels.

The number of Climate Emergency declarations has spiked in recent months, signaling the spreading sense of urgency matched by political will to take bold action at the local level in the face of the worsening climate crisis.

This time last year, only 2 local governments in the United States and a small handful of cities around the world had made this declaration. As of March 22, 2019, 413 local governments had declared a Climate Emergency and made a commitment to rapid, just transition away from fossil fuels. These governments represent over 34 million people—exponential growth is here and the charts below show it.

This accelerating adoption of Climate Emergency declaration is tremendously hopeful.

View a map of Climate Emergency declarations around the world.

Activists from The Climate Mobilization and allied groups from across the globe are taking this message to their local governments and are increasingly finding cooperative, sympathetic reception. In more and more places, elected officials are standing up and, through these official declaration of Climate Emergency, publicly acknowledging the crucial need for mobilization.

Though the language of the declarations varies, they share these key themes:

  • Commitment to reach zero emissions and begin drawing down excess greenhouse gas from the atmosphere at emergency speed.

  • Dedication to democracy, and consideration for historically marginalized groups and frontline communities most impacted by climate change and fossil fuel pollution.

  • Willingness and enthusiasm to join the global movement to restore a safe climate for humanity and the natural world, also known as the Climate Emergency Movement.

You can read examples of these resolutions from the United States here.

This is a transnational effort with declarations of climate emergency being championed by local groups and elected officials in every region that has declared.

Together we are showing that local governments can make concrete changes in their collective carbon footprint, educate local residents and businesses about the need for mobilization, and spread the concept to higher levels of government—ultimately pressuring national governments to implement sweeping change.

Declarations this month:

Thus far in March of 2019, 17 local governments have declared Climate Emergency, including the cities of Alameda and Fairfax in California and Crystal Bay Township in Minnesota, along with Plymouth and Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and Canton de Vaud/Waadt in Switzerland.

See a full listing of declarations on our website

Alameda, California declared Climate Emergency on March 19, 2019. Read the full resolution here.

An excerpt from the Alameda resolution:

These local governments are at the forefront of the kind of innovative, visionary leadership that the climate crisis requires. We are grateful for their initiative and the momentum they have sparked. We look forward to following, encouraging and supporting the next phase of this effort as councils decide on concrete steps to move toward local Mobilization policy, and become advocates for emergency Climate Mobilization within their own borders, regionally, and on a national level.

Watch for continued global uptake of the Climate Emergency campaign. You can get involved by taking The Pledge to Mobilize, and by joining or starting a local chapter where you live today.

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Kristen Cashmore

Senior Director
Kristen brings more than 25 years of social justice advocacy to Climate Mobilization. Her previous positions at human rights, public health, environmental justice, and clean energy organizations inform her work with the variety of stakeholders she is engaging with to bring an accelerated response to the climate emergency. Kristen earned a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley, where she was a teaching assistant in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

Malik Russell

Communications Director

Malik leads Climate Mobilization’s press and communications strategy. He formerly served as Communications Director for the NAACP. He is a journalist, author, community-based educator, and former lecturer in the Department of Strategic Communications at Morgan State University. The former editor of the Washington Afro-American newspaper, he has worked as a journalist in the Black Press for over two decades.He has a BA in American history from Brandeis University and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in New York, where he was selected as a National Urban Fellow.

Ezra Silk

Deputy Director

Ezra is co-founder of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. He authored The Climate Mobilization’s Victory Plan, an influential exploration of how the federal government can organize and implement a mobilization to save civilization from the Climate Emergency and ecological crisis. This document directly shaped the demands of the Extinction Rebellion movement and the Green New Deal framework. Ezra was also a lead author of the climate emergency declaration resolution introduced in Congress in July 2019. A former newspaper reporter, Ezra has a BA in history from Wesleyan University.

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.

Laura Berry

Research & Policy Director

Laura brings over a decade of experience to Climate Mobilization in climate advocacy, organizing, research, and policy. She has worked on climate, environmental, and sustainability issues from local to global scales with organizations including the Stockholm Environment Institute, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, and 350.org. She is passionate about deepening democratic engagement in response to the Climate Emergency. Laura has a BA in human ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MSc in global environment, politics, and society from the University of Edinburgh.

Rebecca Harris

Organizing Director

Rebecca leads Climate Mobilization organizing efforts. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca he has worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools. Most recently, Rebecca worked as 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

Operations and Community Manager
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.

Sydney Ghazarian

Digital Organizer
Sydney leads digital strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization project. She is also a founder of National Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialist Working Group and worked to establish climate as a primary focus of the American Left. Sydney has previously worked in journalism and in academic research. Sydney received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California San Diego.

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.

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD

Founder and Board President

Margaret is the founder of The Climate Mobilization (TCM) and Climate Mobilization Project (CMP) and helped catalyze a worldwide climate emergency movement through her work with both organizations. Margaret now serves as Climate Awakening Program Director. She is the author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth (New Society Publishers, April 2020) and several influential essays. She is also a member of the Climate Emergency Fund’s Advisory Board. Margaret earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and a BA in social anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving the Climate Emergency.

AriDy Nox

Organizational Development and Engagement Manager
AriDy brings creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role, assisting the executive director with travel, communication and fundraising. AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist. They have served as a national representative for The Young Women of Color Leadership Council, the Millennials of Color Leadership Bureau, and held writing positions with Advocates for Youth and RH Reality Check. She has worked as an administrative and executive assistant for a myriad of organizations including the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU, the Youth Engagement Fund and the Community Resource Exchange.