9 Years to Zero: Building Code and Progress from the Biden Administration

Brand New Organizer Toolkit!

Our new Climate Mobilization 2030 Toolkit launched on March 29! We offer a step-by-step blueprint for people and organizations to get their communities involved by passing Climate Emergency Declarations, and follow-up Climate Emergency Programs to enact real policy making mobilization at the local level. Whether you’re an individual, or part of a local climate group, this new resource is a guide to moving your community into emergency mode.

If you’re thinking about taking action and want to learn more about reaching zero emissions by 2030, or are curious about what comes next after declaring climate emergency, sign up to receive the Toolkit

For an introduction watch our Toolkit Launch Webinar. 

Climate Emergency Movement Updates

The city of La Mesa, California declared a climate emergency on February 23, bolstering the city’s Climate Action Plan and “directing the City to take accelerated and comprehensive action to address the climate crisis.”

Sonoma County, California has become the first county in the U.S. in which all of its cities, plus the County itself, have now passed a Climate Emergency Resolution. The area is unique in California in having a Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) — a joint powers authority, or JPA, tasked with coordinating climate protection efforts among the County’s nine cities and multiple agencies. Organizers in Sonoma with The Climate Mobilization and many allied groups continue to push local governments to make good on their promises, while advocating for equitable policies that bolster the resilience of the region. 

To date there have been 1,928 declarations of climate emergency worldwide, within 34 countries and the European Union. For these communities, the next step is to adopt Climate Emergency Programs that center frontline communities and bring emissions to zero by 2030. 

Progress from the Biden Administration

As currently written, Biden’s newly unveiled, $2 trillion dollar infrastructure plan includes provisions to address the climate emergency, among other spending. $174 billion is earmarked to subsidize the cost of electric vehicle purchases and to build charging infrastructure, $100 billion for upgrades in the electric grid, and $85 billion for public transit. While passage of this bill would be a paradigm shift away from the business-as-usual gridlock that has gripped Washington for decades, in its current form it is not enough to initiate a Climate Mobilization that would drive down emissions at emergency speed. We continue to work with allies in Congress to increase the topline and improve the package and will continue to advocate for comprehensive Climate Mobilization that rises to the challenge of restoring a safe climate. 

The White House announced the members of the new Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which will advise and provide recommendations to the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council on how to address current and historic environmental injustices.

Also, the Biden administration announced a plan to rapidly increase offshore wind power generation, which includes the creation of a wind energy area off the east coast, smoother permitting, and increases in available loans — all aimed at creating enough wind-power capacity to power 10 million homes within ten years. 

Natural Gas Bans

Berkeley, CA, which declared a climate emergency in 2018, passed the first ban on natural gas hookups in new construction in 2019. Since that time the regulation has become popular among California cities — 21 municipalities across California now require all-electric systems in new housing construction. Unfortunately efforts toward a statewide ban have proved much more difficult to pass, facing calls to delay the changes, as well as criticism from gas industry groups and others over potential electricity rate hikes, and grid disruption during a time when California’s electric grid is already under strain. 

State Sen. David Cortese stands in favor of natural gas bans, stating “Look, this is either a climate emergency or it’s not. If this isn’t the equivalent of a pandemic happening on the greenhouse gas front, then stop now. But it is a problem. It’s a problem I’m committed to solving.”

For more details about the challenge of passing meaningful climate emergency legislation, the full report on the matter from KQED public radio is worth reading. 

Heading in the Wrong Direction

Funding by global banks for expanding fossil fuel companies has gone up since the signing of the Paris Accord, demonstrating the lack of engagement with even modest climate goals from the banking sector. While some banks have promised to reduce funding to coal, oil and gas firms, none have concrete plans to do so. Additionally, analysis by The Guardian finds that three quarters of board directors among the 7 largest US banks have ties to fossil fuel companies. 

The rulemaking process that determines building codes, regulating energy efficiency standards in new buildings among other things, has been altered by the International Code Council, or ICC, to give less power to local elected officials and cede the majority of voting power to industry representatives. This change impacts much of the United States and Latin America and could block democratic attempts to legislate standards that cut emissions from homes and businesses. Despite opposition from prominent Democrats and the Biden Administration, the ICC voted to adopt the changes in a closed meeting on March 3. 

2020 was one of the worst years for destruction of forests in recent decades, according to a new study. Some of most acute losses, an area of land the size of the Netherlands, occurred in tropical rainforest regions of South America, central Africa and south-east Asia, regions home to essential carbon storage capacity and fragile biodiversity. 

Supporting this work

Thank you for your continued interest in The Climate Mobilization and the Climate Emergency Movement. If you can support us with a donation, you’ll help us build community power across the US for emergency declarations and the Climate Emergency Programs that follow. 

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Zakaria Kronemer

Climate Survival Farming and Food Sovereignty Coordinator

Zakaria Kronemer is a farmer from Richmond, Virginia with roots in community organizing and climate activism. In 2017, he began working with farmers and other communities in rural Virginia to develop a robust campaign against the construction of two fracked-gas pipelines. It was through this struggle —and the relationships built along the way—that connections between food, land, and climate justice were revealed to him. He teamed up with other BIPOC farmers and set out to build an alternative, regional food-system founded on sovereignty, security, ecological stewardship, and human dignity. Zakaria most recently worked as a field manager and program lead with Real Roots Food Systems—an emerging organization striving to increase participation in our food system. He envisions a food system that people can meaningfully participate in without needing to become a farmer, chef, or professional, in which nutrient-dense, healing food is not a luxury or a lifestyle, but a right.

Daisy Carter

Kentucky Movement Incubation Coordinator

Daisy Carter (she/they) is a New Orleans native, queer multi-disciplinary artist and climate justice organizer working at the intersections of mutual aid, disaster resiliency, African-American herbalism, and grassroots organizing. Daisy is inspired by the black radical movements of the so-called U.S and African diaspora, reimagining what healing + self-determination look like for frontline, BIPOC (black, brown, and people of color) communities who are most vulnerable to climate disaster. For the past few years, they have been organizing around mutual aid, environmental + climate justice, and building BIPOC and marginalized leadership throughout Kentucky. In 2021, they founded Rise and Shine, a community-led mutual aid organization building power and solidarity with low-income, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities in Bowling Green, Kentucky and beyond. She has also led numerous political campaigns, direct actions, and led outreach + communications strategy for organizations such as The Sierra Club, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival. At the Climate Mobilization, she is supporting programming, the development of the Movement Incubation Program, and the creation of climate survival outreach projects.

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

Co-Leader and Director of Operations & Programs

Emmett manages operations and leads Climate Mobilization’s intersectional organizing around transportation justice, where he works with local community groups to build commitment, alignment and action among frontline constituents who rely on public transit and active transportation modes. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to activate power towards equitable, climate-friendly transportation systems, build mutual-aid-based community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition. In 2021, Emmett developed an online platform for collaborative, community-scale visioning of a just, zero-carbon future. In 2022 he helped launch a transit riders union in Sonoma County, CA, which has engaged in mutual aid, storytelling, and a successful campaign to win fare-free buses and expanded frequency.

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

Co-Leader and Network & Movement Building Director

Mariyah is a first-generation Pakistani community organizer who is on a life-long journey of working to create alternative, anti-capitalist models of collective healing, popular education, community organizing, and mass movement. She has been inspired by studying social movements and organizing in many movement ecosystems and geographies – most recently in Cape Town, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, and currently in Los Angeles. At Climate Mobilization, she started as a Network Organizer where she leads programming, coaching, and other resource development for a learning hub of 43+ local decarbonization and climate justice campaigns. She also recently developed strategy for youth, BIPOC-led, climate movements alongside the Network Support Team at Power Shift Network, and organized with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network to base-build in Wilmington and San Pedro alongside low-income API communities most impacted by extractive industries in Los Angeles. Mariyah has spent the past 7 years leading campaigns for Just Transition, abolition, food sovereignty, housing justice, undocumented workers’ organizing, reproductive justice, and Palestine solidarity as well as being involved in mutual aid projects, across more than 15 geographies.


Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization

Rebecca has been with Climate Mobilization since 2019 leading our organizing efforts. In this role, she has coached dozens of local climate groups, coordinated organizing trainings, and launched the campaign for a national Climate Emergency Declaration. In July 2021, she collaborated with Acton, MA residents to launch Housing and Climate Justice for Acton, a renters rights and climate justice group led by public housing and Section 8 renters and other low-income residents, and has already won several campaigns. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca previously worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools and as the 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.