Biden must declare climate emergency, but that’s not enough — Democrats must also use their power to advance climate justice
The Climate Mobilization has been working together with allied organizations to make sure the climate emergency is put at the top of the national agenda. Yesterday this effort reached an important threshold when Senator Schumer came out in support of President Biden declaring climate a national emergency. While this statement alone is not the victory climate organizers are fighting for, it is a demonstration of the power climate organizing has achieved and the importance of the climate movement holding leaders accountable.
“The climate system and the wider human life support system is breaking down in front of our eyes. This is an emergency and the Biden/Harris Administration should declare it an emergency now. The administration must use all of their constitutional powers to end the era of fossil fuels and usher in a Just Transition,” said Matt Renner, Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization, adding “We are encouraged that Senate Majority Leader Schumer is advising President Biden to treat it like the emergency that it is.”
National Emergencies Act
Declaring a state of emergency under the National Emergencies Act would give President Biden the power to take critical action in the fight for a safe climate, including halting crude oil exports, suspending offshore drilling, limiting fossil fuel infrastructure, and expanding funding for renewable energy projects. A list of key executive actions recommended by a broad coalition of organizations can be found at the Build Back Fossil Free campaign website.
An climate emergency on the scale we now face demands an all-of-government, all-of-society response. In the last session of Congress, The Climate Mobilization and its partner organizations advanced a call for Climate Mobilization through a Joint Congressional Resolution to declare a national climate emergency, which gained over 100 co-sponsors in the House and Senate. The Climate Mobilization has also supported efforts that have led to more than 130 local governments in the United States adopting declarations of climate emergency, 30 of which have pledged to reach zero emissions by 2030.
Declaring a Climate Emergency is Only the Beginning
Senate Majority Leader Schumer is right to support an emergency declaration to address the climate emergency at the scale and speed required. But words on cable news are the easy part.
“Saying you support an emergency response to climate isn’t enough. Now Congress and the Biden Administration must deliver. As a country, we have waited too long for piecemeal reform, now we must enact a Climate Mobilization at the scale and speed necessary to shift industry and the economy to reduce emissions to zero by 2030” says Renner.