9 Years to Zero: The Climate Emergency Act and New Research

Climate Emergency Movement

We continue to see an increase in Climate Emergency Declarations across the globe with 1,904 declarations within 34 countries and the European Union to date, covering 12.27% of the global population. In the U.S.,Thurston County, Washington recently joined the list, with a declaration on February 16. 

Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, a collaborative network of leading global cities working to achieve carbon neutrality, published a new report examining the impact of the Climate Emergency movement in 15 cities across the world. The report — This is Not A Drill: How Cities are Using the Climate Emergency to Make Big New Moves to Decarbonize Locally — is an excellent third-party verification of the importance and impact of the global Climate Emergency Campaign. It provides timely resources for activists and elected officials looking for practical knowledge and inspiration as they work to implement their climate emergency declarations and accelerate local climate action. 

Climate, Weather, and New Research

Two weeks ago, snow, ice, and brutally cold temperatures rocked the U.S. south. Evidence suggests that the brutal, record-shattering cold weather was caused by rapid heating in the Arctic pushing cold air southward and disrupting previously well-established climate systems around the world.

Texas and Mississippi were hit particularly hard, with millions of people losing power, heat, and water in their homes due to grid infrastructure left vulnerable by decades of deregulation and a fossil fuelled power system. Some residents in Jackson, MS are still without clean drinking water. The Texas blackouts showed how climate extremes threaten energy systems across the U.S. and infrastructure failures demonstrated the vulnerability of multiple sectors in the face of weather extremes caused by climate change. 

New analysis from the United Nations shows that despite increasingly ambitious emissions reduction pledges from countries, their combined impacts would put the world on a path to achieve only a 1-percent reduction in global emissions by 2030, compared to 2010 levels — an astounding failure that would doom global efforts to avert runaway climate breakdown. 

Global greenhouse gas emissions levels are now on track to rise above where they were at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, signalling that the initial dip in emissions due to economic shutdowns in high-emitting countries did not signal a lasting trend towards global emissions cuts. 

The connections between the climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic are becoming clearer. Recent studies are examining shifts in the distribution of bat species and finding that with vegetation changes caused by the climate crisis, bats (carriers of various types of coronavirus) are moving into new areas of forest and carrying virus with them. 

National and State Policy

The breakthrough Climate Emergency Act introduced in Congress by Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and  Senator Bernie Sanders would mandate President Biden declare climate change a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act. This bill builds on the resolution that TCM backed and helped to develop in 2019, which would have put Congress on the record supporting a climate emergency declaration in the U.S. The new legislation is aimed at the Biden/Harris administration, who could use emergency powers to rapidly advance climate action without waiting for legislation from Congress, and could use these same powers to reorganize the executive branch to begin a true Climate Mobilization. The introduction of the bill follows public support of the concept from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and seeks to get him on the record in support of this course of action.

In California, the ‘No time to waste’ bill would ban fracking in the state near homes and schools by 2022 and would extend the ban statewide by 2027. The bill was introduced by Senator Monique Limón, a true climate justice warrior who has been fighting fracking in her home district for years, and Scott Wiener, also a long-time climate advocate. This effort faces an uphill fight in a state known for climate laws that mandate the use of renewable energy but with a problematic legacy of influence and regulatory capture by the fossil fuel industry. 

Petaluma, CA has become the first city in the U.S. to ban the construction of new gas stations. The city has also prohibited the expansion of the number of gas pumps at existing stations and is encouraging stations to transition to electric charging or hydrogen refueling. This is a milestone demonstrating the power of local governments to ban climate-damaging infrastructure expansion and should be copied by every city and county that is serious about the climate emergency.

Montgomery County, MD is leasing 300 electric school busses, the first set of which will begin transporting students next year. This transition to electric buses is the largest effort of its kind by a single school district, and represents a win for climate advocates, as well as public health advocates concerned with the adverse impact of diesel fuel emissions on the health of children. 

Launch of Climate Awakening

Congratulations to Margaret Klein Salamon on the launch of her new project, Climate Awakening, which aims to unleash the power of climate emotions through thousands of small group conversations. Climate Awakening is a fiscally sponsored project of our 501(c)3 sister organization, Climate Mobilization Project. 

Support Climate Mobilization

Thank you for your interest in our work! To donate to the grassroots effort to initiate a Climate Mobilization in the US and beyond, click here

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

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

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 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.

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

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.