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House Climate Committee Report Fails to Treat Climate as an Emergency Issue

2050 Goal for zero-emissions could be too little too late to protect our future.

June 30, 2020—As the House Select Committee on Climate prepares to release its highly-anticipated report, many activists are seeing it as a major disappointment and one failing to fully acknowledge the scope and scale of the Climate Emergency and approach it with the urgency necessary to protect Americans – especially marginalized and frontline communities – from the impacts of climate devastation.

“This is not an emergency response,” said Laura Berry, The Climate Mobilization’s Director of Research and Policy. “The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had the opportunity to put forth a comprehensive plan to protect Americans from climate devastation, but the solutions proposed fail to meet the challenge of the existential planetary crisis we face. Collectively, the proposals in the plan would only cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2030, and 88% by 2050, and are wholly inadequate to prevent the risk of catastrophic climate disruption,” she added. 

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on 1.5ºC, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and net-zero by 2050 only gives us a 40-60% chance of staying below 1.5ºC of warming. Current levels of global warming, at only ~1ºC above, pre-industrial levels, have already harmed communities across the United States through extreme weather events like, hurricanes, droughts, and fires, that will only continue to worsen in intensity.

TCM does commend the Committee on its economy-wide and increased focus on direct regulation of industry and public investment — such as clean vehicle mandates, regulations for zero-emissions buildings, and efforts to reduce 2/3rds of national methane emissions by 2025 —as well as its commitment to climate justice and equity issues – yet the lack of urgency is frightening. 

Despite the harsh lessons learned with unpreparedness regarding the COVID19 Pandemic, and 2020 on track to be the warmest year in recorded history, many are critical of the Committee’s laissez-faire attitude and hope presidential candidate Joe Biden’s commitment to addressing the Climate Emergency is both more aggressive and urgent.

“The Select Committee’s plan for a leisurely, three-decade transition to a cleaner economy underscores the establishment’s continuing refusal to address this existential crisis with the scale, speed, and intensity required to ensure a future for our next generation. It’s our hope that Biden recognizes the urgency facing our world and commits to declaring a Climate Emergency within the first 100 days of his administration, includes a 2030 deadline for zero emissions and releases a federal mobilization plan necessary to protect our nation,” said Ezra Silk, Deputy-Director of The Climate Mobilization.

Since last January, Climate Emergency declarations jumped from only 233 worldwide to currently 1740 declarations within 30 countries + EU.

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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 and Managing Director of Climate Mobilization Project

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 Executive Director of Climate Mobilization Project

Margaret leads organizational strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. In this role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide Climate Emergency Movement. 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 climate change. She is author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform yourself with Climate Truth available from New Society Publishers in April, 2020.

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.