Ahead of DNC Presidential Debates, Climate Groups Issue Petition Calling on Congress to Declare a Climate Emergency

The online petition and partner information can be found at  ClimateEmergency.US

The online petition and partner information can be found at ClimateEmergency.US

Press Release
Contact: Malik Russell /

BROOKLYN, NY (June 20, 2019)—On the eve of the Democratic National Committee’s first debate, a coalition of climate justice and environmental groups are launching an online petition demanding Congress declare a national climate emergency.

“It’s important that our nation understand the urgency of the moment and shifts to emergency-mode to address this escalating climate crisis now,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, executive director of The Climate Mobilization (TCM), a group founded in 2014 to initiate a massive WWII-scale emergency speed mobilization to an equitable, zero emissions economy. “If we carry on with business as usual and do not move into emergency mode, our nation and world could be facing a collapse scenario within decades.” 

TCM, along with GreenFaith, Earth Uprising, Zero Hour, Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign, Movement RightsCasey Camp-Horinek, Councilwoman of the Ponca Tribe, Black Alliance for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, Idle No More SF BayMothers Out FrontExtinction Rebellion, director Adam McKay and Labor Network for Sustainability, launched the petition prior to the kickoff of the first 2020 presidential debate in the hopes that as many candidates as possible will affirm their commitment to declaring a national climate emergency in their remarks, particularly in light of the DNC’s decision not to host a climate debate. 

Declaring a climate emergency represents a powerful acknowledgement that candidates understand the urgency of the moment,” added Klein Salamon.

Last week, Pope Francis declared an international #ClimateEmergency while speaking to major fossil fuel corporations and earlier this week, Canada’s House of Commons declared a national #ClimateEmergency which fails to address this dangerous crisis and then approved a pipeline. Canada’s decision to put forth such an inadequate response damages the #ClimateEmergency Movement with watered down non-emergency responses.

The intense storms, flooding, and tornados across the Midwest and South last month prompted some movement in Congress, but this coalition feels there needs to be a serious escalation by Congress, beginning with declaring a Climate Emergency and then working with legislators to ensure our nation will:

  • Mobilize people, resources, and companies on a scale larger than that of World War II to reverse global warming and prevent catastrophe. This must be a wide-scale, inclusive and equitable transformation and rebuilding of our society to one based on renewable energy, employment, and economic opportunity.

  • Democratically transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero fossil fuel economy in ten years or less. This must be a just transition for workers and frontline communities.

  • Hold a national People’s Assembly on the climate emergency

  • Protect the entire web of life by working to end the sixth mass extinction. Protection of biodiversity is critical to our survival.

  • Prioritize funding to repair the damage caused by fossil fuel and other extractive industries, so that Indigenous tribal communities, communities of color, and rural communities hit hardest by environmental injustice can have clean land, air, and water.

Currently, over 600 cities, Canada, and the United Kingdom have issued climate emergency declarations.