WASHINGTON— Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) unveiled a concurrent resolution today to declare the climate crisis an emergency warranting a “massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse and address” its consequences.
“With an unhinged climate denier in the White House, it’s on Congress to steer us away from climate suicide,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This resolution is a sane recognition that science says we need a massive transition away from the production and consumption of dirty fossil fuels.”
The resolution follows the world’s hottest June on record and comes a day after Trump’s speech touting his environmental policies — a speech that entirely neglected to mention the climate crisis.
Months before the 116th Congress opened, a series of scientific reports warned of the dire consequences of inaction on the climate emergency.
In October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that policymakers must take “unprecedented action” to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. In November the Fourth National Climate Assessment reported that the United States is already feeling the health and economic costs of climate change and that those harms will intensify without “immediate and substantial” cuts to greenhouse gas pollution.
The resolution notes that a federal, large-scale mobilization has ample precedent in the nation’s history, pointing to accomplishments like the Interstate Highway System, the Apollo 11 Moon landing and the New Deal.
“Mounting a World War II style mobilization against the climate emergency will have lifesaving and economic benefits that far exceed its costs,” Snape said. “Responding to the climate crisis with any less urgency would spell disaster for current and future Americans, and for the planet.”
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.