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9 Years to Zero — The Inauguration and Climate News

Wednesday marked the dramatic changing of the political guard in Washington D.C. with the swearing in of Joseph Biden as the 46th President of the United States Kamala Harris as the first woman and first Black and South Asian Vice President. 

In his inauguration speech, President Biden pledged to address the multiple crises facing the United States. Referencing the “cry for survival from the planet itself” and calling for unity and action, Biden declared “we will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility. Much to repair. Much to restore. Much to heal. Much to build. And much to gain.” 

Indeed, the list of priorities is lengthy, and we are heartened to see that the Office of the President recognizes the climate emergency on the White House website, listing action on climate as the second priority after addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Huge thanks to organizers across the country who have maintained a call for the acknowledgement of the climate emergency and the Climate Mobilization it demands. 

President Biden has pledged to restore hundreds of environmental regulations rolled back under the Trump Administration. One of the first executive actions he signed was to rejoin the Paris Agreement. On his first day in office President Biden also revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

While critical, these pledges to act will not be enough. TCM has joined a coalition of environmental and climate justice groups calling for the Biden Administration to initiate a national Climate Mobilization to #BuildBackFossilFree. Key demands include Biden declaring a climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act and establishing a federal Office of Climate Mobilization. You can show your support by signing the #BuildBackFossilFree petition here

Climate Emergency Movement

To date, organizers have achieved 1,874 declarations of climate emergency within 33 countries and the European Union. 12.2% of the global population now lives within a jurisdiction that has declared a climate emergency. 

In the United States, climate emergency declaration campaigns are operating in at least 24 states and Washington, D.C., including Iowa, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota, Virginia, and Idaho. 

Climate News

Despite the cooling impacts of this year’s la niña weather pattern, NASA has named 2020 the hottest year on record. According to The Guardian “The world’s seven hottest years on record have now all occurred since 2014, with the 10 warmest all taking place in the last 15 years. There have now been 44 consecutive years where global temperatures have been above the 20th-century average.” There is no doubt; we are in an accelerating climate emergency.

Researchers have found that Brazilian forests are transitioning from carbon sinks to carbon sources, as climate scientists have been predicting for several years. Luckily, the problem is not unsolvable, as long as major land management changes are made. Such changes will require a Climate Mobilization that prioritizes addressing the climate emergency over private profits in Brazil. Such efforts are already being led by the incredible land defenders fighting to save these biomes.

In good news, engineers are finding innovative ways to address the looming wind turbine blade waste crisis by converting the retired turbines into bridges. If it is successful, groups like The Re-Wind team hope to test other creative recycling projects, such as transforming blades into affordable housing. 

Thank you for your support

Thanks to all who donated to The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project during our 2020 end of year fundraising campaign. Your help is keeping us going during this challenging time and making it possible for us to grow the U.S. Climate Emergency Movement to promote comprehensive, cutting edge, justice-based local climate policies that will continue to embolden federal climate action. If you haven’t had a chance to give yet, you can do so here. This movement will take all of us — thanks for your support!

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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

National Organizer

Emmett organizes local-scale mobilization for the Sonoma County campaign, while supporting Climate Mobilization’s organizing efforts around the country. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to build community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition to an amazing zero carbon future. He graduated from Stanford with a BS in Earth Systems and MS in Urban Planning & Sustainable Design. Emmett enjoys growing food and cultivating relationships, riding bikes and buses, and reimagining our communities to better serve all the people living in them.

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

Network Organizer

Mariyah leads Climate Mobilization Network’s recruitment, coordination, and organizing support. She has organized across movements and is passionate about addressing white supremacy in the mainstream climate movement and building capacity for youth-led, BIPOC-led intersectional climate movements. She has been inspired by her experiences organizing to defund the police in Boston, supporting mutual aid and food sovereignty projects in Iowa, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, and working on a Make Big Polluters Pay campaign. Mariyah worked as an organizer with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and Planned Parenthood PAC. She graduated from Grinnell College with a Sociology degree.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Organizing

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

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.