Ahead of DNC Presidential Debates, Climate Groups Issue Petition Calling on Congress to Declare a Climate Emergency

 The online petition and partner information can be found at  ClimateEmergency.US
The online petition and partner information can be found at ClimateEmergency.US

Press Release
Contact: Malik Russell /

BROOKLYN, NY (June 20, 2019)—On the eve of the Democratic National Committee’s first debate, a coalition of climate justice and environmental groups are launching an online petition demanding Congress declare a national climate emergency.

“It’s important that our nation understand the urgency of the moment and shifts to emergency-mode to address this escalating climate crisis now,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, executive director of The Climate Mobilization (TCM), a group founded in 2014 to initiate a massive WWII-scale emergency speed mobilization to an equitable, zero emissions economy. “If we carry on with business as usual and do not move into emergency mode, our nation and world could be facing a collapse scenario within decades.” 

TCM, along with GreenFaith, Earth Uprising, Zero Hour, Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign, Movement RightsCasey Camp-Horinek, Councilwoman of the Ponca Tribe, Black Alliance for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, Idle No More SF BayMothers Out FrontExtinction Rebellion, director Adam McKay and Labor Network for Sustainability, launched the petition prior to the kickoff of the first 2020 presidential debate in the hopes that as many candidates as possible will affirm their commitment to declaring a national climate emergency in their remarks, particularly in light of the DNC’s decision not to host a climate debate. 

Declaring a climate emergency represents a powerful acknowledgement that candidates understand the urgency of the moment,” added Klein Salamon.

Last week, Pope Francis declared an international #ClimateEmergency while speaking to major fossil fuel corporations and earlier this week, Canada’s House of Commons declared a national #ClimateEmergency which fails to address this dangerous crisis and then approved a pipeline. Canada’s decision to put forth such an inadequate response damages the #ClimateEmergency Movement with watered down non-emergency responses.

The intense storms, flooding, and tornados across the Midwest and South last month prompted some movement in Congress, but this coalition feels there needs to be a serious escalation by Congress, beginning with declaring a Climate Emergency and then working with legislators to ensure our nation will:

  • Mobilize people, resources, and companies on a scale larger than that of World War II to reverse global warming and prevent catastrophe. This must be a wide-scale, inclusive and equitable transformation and rebuilding of our society to one based on renewable energy, employment, and economic opportunity.

  • Democratically transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero fossil fuel economy in ten years or less. This must be a just transition for workers and frontline communities.

  • Hold a national People’s Assembly on the climate emergency

  • Protect the entire web of life by working to end the sixth mass extinction. Protection of biodiversity is critical to our survival.

  • Prioritize funding to repair the damage caused by fossil fuel and other extractive industries, so that Indigenous tribal communities, communities of color, and rural communities hit hardest by environmental injustice can have clean land, air, and water.

Currently, over 600 cities, Canada, and the United Kingdom have issued climate emergency declarations. 



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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.