Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) applauds Senator Sanders, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Blumenauer who continue to demonstrate leadership in addressing the climate crisis with their climate emergency resolution. Logic dictates that we must clearly name the crisis if we are serious about addressing it. 

For decades, frontline communities, nationally and globally, have intimately understood the climate emergency, as we are often impacted first and worst by the interlinking economic, social and climate crises currently facing humanity. Frontline communities recognize that the climate crisis is here and now; we can’t wait ten years to address it. For this reason, the frontlines have developed and championed solution-centered work that moves our communities away from extractive fossil fuel economies to renewable and regenerative economies rooted in Environmental Justice, Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty. 

Senator Sanders’ resolution recognizes the need to scale these local community-led solutions, while also naming the chief drivers of the climate crisis including, but not limited to, fossil fuel extraction, systemic racism and oppression, and massive wealth and income inequality. 

In order to arrive at a regenerative economy where no one is left behind, all of these challenges must be confronted head-on and simultaneously through just pathways for non-toxic, living wage jobs; the building of locally rooted political and economic power and concrete plans for addressing historical harm for people of color and systematically disenfranchised communities.  

CJA is particularly pleased that Senator Sanders included a clause to ensure that emergency powers to address the climate crisis cannot be co-opted and otherwise utilized to create harmful impacts for marginalized populations, such as immigrants and asylum seekers through misconstruing the climate crisis as an excuse to limit or halt migration.

The road to a truly just and regenerative economy begins with recognizing and naming the challenge that confronts us. This resolution is a necessary step on the path to doing just that. We congratulate Senator Sanders and Reps Ocasio-Cortez and Blumenauer for this significant effort.

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The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies.

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