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(Washington, DC) – Today, as President Biden traveled to Massachusetts to announce new executive action on climate change, long-time advocates urged the Administration to declare a national climate emergency.
“We need bold, decisive action. Fortune favors the bold. We look to our President to provide the leadership, and be the climate president he said that he was going to be, to be the environmental president that he said he was going to be. Put people over politics, and put people ahead of fossil fuels. We’re demanding that he declare a climate emergency,” said John Beard, Founder of the Port Arthur Community Action Network.
“The United Nations came out with a statement this week saying that we are on the path of humanitarian suicide. I choose to fight against that. I choose to fight for my people. I choose to fight for all people. What world are we leaving for our children? We have to think of the next generations. We must declare a climate emergency,” said Joye Braun, National Pipelines Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network.
“The danger of inaction is very real, and it’s immediate. The danger of inaction is what we are facing here from this President. We know about scorching heat waves, mud slides, fires, catastrophic storms, and we’re seeing all of that in our communities. These are devastating events that people are barely able to recover from before the next disaster strikes. That’s important for the president and all of his advisors to remember while they delay, and delay, and delay taking action such as declaring a climate emergency,” said Russell Chisholm, Co-Chair of Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights.
“In Oklahoma, we are the epicenter of the nation’s heatwave. It was 110 where I live. Oklahomans are suffering now. We need Joe Biden to follow through on his climate promises to stop fossil fuel projects, usher in a just transition, and use his executive authority to declare a climate emergency now,” said Ashley Engle with the Ikiya Collective.
“Biden actually ran on an aggressive climate platform, and it’s a big part of why young people turned out in record numbers to elect Democrats in 2020. As we stare now into the face of an existential midterm election, this declaration will either show young people the Biden gives a damn about our futures or be a further slap in the face to our generation that is feeling utter despair and frustration at the failure of democratic leadership,” said Lauren Manus, Advocacy Director for the Sunrise Movement.
“As the second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. must act now if we’re going to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. President Biden has no more excuses. He must start using his executive powers to full effect if we’re going to make any progress in preventing the worst disasters in our country,” said Anusha Narayanan, Climate Campaign Director for Greenpeace US.
“We need President Biden to declare a climate emergency. We need that rallying directive in this vacuum of climate leadership that we’re seeing right now. If he declares a climate emergency, it will not only unleash his ability to use all of his executive orders right now, but also send a signal around the world and to this country that he is finally serious about making and meeting his campaign commitments to combat the climate chaos,” said Jean Su, Energy Justice Director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
For over a year, People vs. Fossil Fuels, a coalition of over 1,100 organizations across the United States, has been pushing the President to declare a climate emergency and use his executive authorities to stop the federal approval of all new fossil fuel projects and scale up the rapid deployment of renewable energy. Declaring a climate emergency is a vitally important first step, given ongoing and record-setting droughts, heat waves, and floods across the country.