Skip to content
Photo by Ken Schles via Fridays for Future NYC

Declaring a Climate Emergency to Clear the Way for the Green New Deal

Following the hottest decade and the hottest year on record, the summer of 2024 is expected to be another record-breaking summer of extreme heat, smoke filled air, and violent hurricanes. For the first time, average global temperatures have surpassed the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius and the United Nations’ climate chief has issued a stark warning -— we have only 2 years to save the planet from the devastating impacts of climate change.

The United States leads the world in oil and gas production, exports and expansion. Fossil fuel production and combustion are the core drivers of the global climate emergency – responsible for nearly 90% of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions and more than 75% of total greenhouse gas emissions. 

Instead of wasting the dollars of taxpayers and utility ratepayers on outdated and costly fossil fuels, we must invest trillions of dollars in renewable energy and transportation, green union jobs and climate justice. The renewable energy transition must be grounded in justice including the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples to redress the climate, racial, socioeconomic, and ecological injustices of the fossil fuel era. The future we want and deserve requires that President Biden: 

  • Declare climate change a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act (NEA) and advance the end of the fossil fuel era. 
  • Declare climate change a national emergency under the Stafford Act and re-imagine FEMA to be an engine of the just and equitable energy transition.
  • Redirect all agency funds towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels to build back fossil-free in impacted communities. 
  • Establish high labor standards to protect workers against extreme heat, wildfire smoke, and other climate emergencies through strong Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations

May 2024: 400+ Groups Send Climate Emergency Demands to White House

Organizers of the California Green New Deal coalition hold up demands

Join the GND Movement to Demand a Climate Emergency

(see privacy policy)

Why a climate emergency?

A declaration of a climate emergency by President Biden would unlock crucial executive powers to combat the crisis effectively. These powers include:

  • Ending the era of fossil fuels: Phase out all existing fossil fuel and prevent new fossil fuel projects by halting crude oil exports, oil and gas drilling, and government subsidies for dirty energy.
  • Building renewables at scale: Enact the President’s executive authority through the Defense Production Act (DPA) to expedite a just transition to clean energy that reduces utility costs, creates new union jobs, and builds a resilient and reliable energy system.
  • Protecting people and planet: Prioritize the climate crisis as the emergency it is to protect frontline communities and the environment from the corporate influences that keep us reliant on dirty, costly energy generated from fossil fuels.