Blumenauer, Ocasio-Cortez, and Sanders Introduce Resolution to Declare the Climate Crisis a National Emergency

July 9, 2019
Press Release
Today, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bicameral Congressional resolution declaring the climate crisis a national emergency.
 
This resolution, which was cosponsored by over a dozen House Members and 6 Senators, and endorsed by 14 independent organizations, urgently demands a national mobilization to “halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of the climate emergency and to restore the climate for future generations.”
 
This action comes in response to Donald Trump’s recent declaration of a manufactured national emergency at the southern border following Congress’ refusal to allocate funds to build a wall at his request. Four other countries have also declared a national climate emergency and mobilized their national governments to swiftly act on climate.
 
“To address the climate crisis, we must tell the truth about the nature of this threat,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “Congressional Republicans have teetered on the brink of ignorance for far too long and now urgent, massive action is needed. This is an emergency. We must act now.”
 
“Today we stand in solidarity with Congressman Earl Blumenauer and tens of millions of people from around the world in calling for a mass mobilization of our social and economic resources,” said Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. “It is time we began a swift transition away from fossil fuels and towards a sustainable renewable energy economy. Climate change represents not only our greatest threat but one of our greatest opportunities. Working to solve the climate crisis will create tens of millions of union jobs, empower communities, and improve the quality of life for people across the globe.”
 
“Today, as we face the crisis of climate change, I am reminded about where the United States was in 1941 when it was attacked at Pearl Harbor. Having to fight a war on two fronts, the United States came together, and within three years, created the type of mobilization necessary to win that war. "The issue before us is not that we cannot address this problem—it is a lack of political will. We know exactly what has to be done: massive investments in sustainable energy and energy efficiency and transforming our transportation system. But, we have a dangerously ignorant president and a fossil fuel industry that is making billions of dollars today as they destroy this planet. What we need is Congressional leadership to stand up to them and begin a process of transformation. Climate change is a national emergency, and I am proud to be introducing this resolution with my House and Senate colleagues on this issue of enormous consequence,” Senator Sanders said.
 
“Climate and ecological breakdown threatens to destroy human civilization and kill billions of innocent people through mass starvation, wars over declining resources, and in the worst case scenario, a runaway greenhouse effect. This historic national declaration of climate emergency formally acknowledges this unprecedented threat and demands the only sane response: A massive, federal government-led mobilization of all available resources to rapidly halt and reverse global warming through a managed phase out of coal, oil, and gas, a large-scale carbon sequestration effort, and other life-saving measures.” – Ezra Silk, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy & Policy, The Climate Mobilization
 
"For decades our politics has been dominated by fear -- fear of fossil fuel corporations, fear of a just transition, and fear of each other. As our leaders have been crippled by fear, we're now left with only 11 years to rapidly transition off fossil fuels and toward green energy. It's time to declare a national emergency to stop the crisis and create millions of good-paying jobs in our communities." – Alexandra Rojas, Executive Director, Justice Democrats
 
“It's abundantly clear that climate change has arrived and that we are living in a climate crisis. It’s past time that the federal government recognize this fact and declare a climate emergency. We need bold, comprehensive legislation to move us off fossil fuels and onto a clean energy revolution. This resolution lays out the scope of what we need to do. It's time to act for the future of our planet.” – Mitch Jones, Climate & Energy Program Director, Food & Water Watch
 
“It’s heartening to see members of Congress taking up their authority and calling out the climate crisis as it happens. We are experiencing the effects of a global emergency, right now, in every part of our nation and it demands that we take immediate action that is equitable and to scale. Communities most impacted by this crisis have known for decades that our climate is changing and that it is affecting our health, safety, and the prospects of the next generation. We applaud Sen. Sanders and Reps. Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez for this step, and call on their colleagues in the House and Senate to support this resolution and show their commitment to just climate action today to give us a chance at tomorrow.” – Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, North America Director, 350 Action.
 
“The climate crisis poses a threat unlike any other in history. If we fail to mobilize national resources very soon, with the utmost speed and unprecedented scale, we will face catastrophic harm in the coming decades and possibly existential threats to the nation and human civilization by the end of this century. There is nothing more deserving of the “emergency” designation. Senator Sanders and Reps. Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez should be commended for their leadership in calling the climate crisis exactly what it is: a genuine national emergency.” – David Arkush, Managing Director, Public Citizen’s Climate Program. 
 
“We’re in a climate emergency fueled by a democracy emergency — an out-of-control fossil fuel industry is hijacking our government, and it’s time we acted like it and fought back. We the people demand that our government say ‘no’ to Big Oil and ‘yes’ to our futures. This resolution is a critical step toward a system that works for people, not polluters, and we thank Sen. Sanders and Reps. Blumenauer and Ocasio-Cortez for their bold leadership.” – Stephen Kretzmann, Founder & Executive Director, Oil Change U.S.
 
“We are absolutely in a climate emergency, and it’s time all of our elected officials started acting like it. Acknowledging that climate change represents a monumental threat, as this resolution does, is a critical first step. What the American people need to survive this crisis is swift action from our government to end drilling, fracking, and mining for fossil fuels and to invest in a more just, inclusive economy built on renewable energy." – Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director, Greenpeace USA