The concurrent resolution to declare climate change a national emergency, introduced in the House and Senate in June by Senator Bernie Sanders (S.Con.Res.22) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (H.Con.Res.52) has been quietly gaining steam through the fall and hit a milestone this week, reaching 100 cosponsors in the House and Senate. If adopted, the bill would send a strong signal about the severity of the climate emergency; it calls for the federal government to initiate a massive-scale mobilization to reverse climate change. The resolution, titled “Expressing the sense of Congress that there is a climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences and causes,” specifically does not give emergency powers to the executive branch, but rather acknowledges the existence of a climate emergency and declares support for a massive mobilization of the nation’s labor and resources to reverse it.
Among the 92 sponsors in the House of Representatives, and nine in the Senate are Senate Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar.
TCM is partnering with Progressive Democrats of America, Food & Water Watch, and Friends of the Earth to pass the national climate emergency declaration. We are hopeful that they can push for hearings by the Energy & Commerce Committee in the House once that body reaches 100 cosponsors in its own right. Contact your Representative to urge them to sign on!
Climate Emergency declarations have taken off around the world, now numbering 1256 Climate Emergency declarations in over 53 nations. The term Climate Emergency was introduced in the U.S. in 2016 to describe the cascading climate breakdown and the psychological, policy, and organizing frameworks needed to address it.
In the US the number of local governments declaring a climate emergency has reached 68, with 60 of those occurring this year. Last week, the Pullayup Tribe, the city of Tacoma, Washington, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Sacramento, California declared, joining cities like Miami, New York City, and New Haven, CT.
“We’re pushing for a national WWII-style mobilization against the Climate Emergency, let’s be clear on that,” said Ezra Silk, policy and strategy director for The Climate Mobilization. “Due to the continuing criminal abdication of leadership at the national level on the climate emergency, it is clear that a mass movement is needed from the grassroots to launch the mobilization needed to save civilization.” Pushing for declarations of climate emergency are just a first step toward popularizing and ultimately initiating WWII-style mobilization to restore a safe climate.
In addition to the push by Congress, The Climate Mobilization in 2020 plans to provide support for organizers in over 250 campaigns around the nation to declare local and state-level Climate Emergencies.
If you haven’t yet become involved, you can sign a letter to your Members of Congress asking them to cosponsor the HR.CON.52 here, or sign up for more information about starting or joining a local campaign here.