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.
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!