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Youth holding climate protect signs to be part of the solution
Dear Jeanne,

We may finally see strong White House action on climate—if we push! Now is the time for President Biden to declare a climate emergency.

The President has held back on executive action for 18 months, seeking to avoid offending Joe Manchin. But now that the West Virginia Senator has made it clear he won’t vote to help head-off the climate crisis, there is no reason for the President to wait.

Yesterday, alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, President Biden pledged to increase offshore wind energy, provide funding to communities to help prepare for floods and disasters, and retrofit buildings for energy efficiency.

Those are good yet small starts, and there’s so much more the Biden-Harris Administration could do if they unlock the full powers of the federal government under the National Emergency Act. The Washington Post just said that the inner circles of the White House are considering declaring a climate emergency. That would signal his willingness to do important, difficult things, like ending new leases for offshore oil drilling and re-directing spending on military bases to build renewable energy projects, and more.

This Administration moves cautiously. We can help them along–send a note of encouragement today! My note said “Sorry to hear you’re under the weather; as you know, the same thing’s true for the planet. Thanks for working hard this last year to get legislative gains on climate. Since that didn’t work out, the moment is here now to declare a climate emergency and use your full powers as President to advance a clean energy transition and fight climate change.” Tell President Biden why declaring a climate emergency matters to you as an older American.

And if you have any doubts we’re in a climate emergency? Just check out the pictures from London yesterday, or the heat map of the US today.

Bill McKibben for Third Act
P.S. Learn more: You can read my Substack here if you want to learn more about the backstory on this climate emergency idea (and about my cameo appearance on this issue a few years back). The Center for Biological Diversity published “The Climate President’s Emergency Powers” report in February 2022. And the Washington Post outlined some of what Biden could do with emergency powers.

Third Act
Sustainable Markets Foundation – 45 West 36th Street 6th floor

New York, New York 10018-7635

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