Climate Action

 

 

The Current Situation

President Biden's record on the climate crisis has been mixed, and we have joined with organizations across the world to pressure him to act more boldly. But the November elections - President, Congress and state level - can either open up a new opportunity for more transformative action, or set us back even further. Donald Trump in the White House and Republican control of either chamber of Congress is a dire threat on climate, and all the other issues we care about.

The Inflation Reduction Act (signed by President Biden in August 2022) is the largest investment the US has ever made in averting climate catastrophe. Though it is a giant step forward, it is far from sufficient. Let's build on this success by escalating our work at the international, national, regional and local levels.

A particularly important action to take in 2024 is to urge President Biden to declare a national climate emergency. This is an action Biden can take without the consent of Congress and grants him broad powers to initiate transformative actions to stem climate change. There are ten inter-related actions Biden can and should take (https://www.climatepresident.org/).

In November-December 2023 the United Nations held its 28th Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting to address climate change at the global level. Among the positive formal outcomes of the meeting were: a first ever commitment to transition away from use of fossil fuels (in spite of immense resistance from oil and gas interests present); an agreement to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity and double its energy efficiency by 2030; the creation of a fund to address increasingly alarming “losses and damages”  from climate change; and the first ever post-Paris Agreement (2015) Global Stocktake, serving as a  prelude to countries ratcheting up their national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On the worrisome side, the formal agreement supports carbon capture technology (strongly favored by oil and gas interests as a means to keep using fossil fuels), and the agreement lacks clarity on how to fund the massive shift to clean energy to which it is now committed.

The November 2024 US elections loom large as an opportunity to further the climate agenda (or potentially set it back in ways which are truly dangerous). It is very important to support candidates who are committed to rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and a turn to conservation and renewable sources of energy.

The perils of the climate crisis confront us every day. While a warming climate is already upon us, our collective actions can prevent the escalating danger from floods, droughts, hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and other calamities which we will certainly face if we don't act quickly and transformatively. Given the slow progress in implementing US national climate change legislation, it is all the more important to make advancements at the state, local, corporate and individual levels.

We call for Climate Justice - recognizing that we cannot successfully meet this crisis without directly challenging the many structures which create and uphold inequality and oppression in our nation and the larger world. Purchase the lawn sign shown in the photo below or our other Climate Action resources here.

Basic Information on Climate Change

  • NASA Global Climate Change
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Online Course - Climate Change: From Learning to Action
     
  • Take Action on Climate Change

    Find a Climate Action Group in Your Community

    If you want to participate in the movement to contain climate change, find an organization working on the issue. Check out the links to 350.org and US Climate Action Network, below, which can assist you in getting involved with local, state, regional or national organizations.

    Important national initiatives in the US

    Climate Action Now lawnsign

     Check out Syracuse Cultural Workers' Climate Action resources here.

     

     

    Climate solutions require attention not just to fossil fuels, but also to land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF)

    Burning of fossil fuels accounts for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions. LULUCF accounts for about 10-15% of the total,  yet about 30% of the potential solution through (among other interventions) prevention of deforestation and regreening of landscapes. So it is important to pay attention not only to the work of organizations that specialize on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, but also from LULUCF – for example:

    Fossil fuels

    Forests

    Indigenous Peoples

    Worldwide, Indigenous Peoples are key to protecting remaining forests and to natural climate solutions. It is important to pay attention to the work of climate organizations working for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, for example:

    Policy analysis and action

    Some organizations have a strong focus on policy analysis for climate action. Here are two such organizations:

    Focus on Climate Solutions

    In addition to supporting the work of organizations that counteract the release of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and land use change (including forests), it is important to pay attention to the work of organizations that are pioneering the energy transition from dirty and unsustainable to clean and sustainable forms of energy.Among the leading such organizations are:

    Individual Actions

    What we do as individuals can add up to meaningful change, remind us of the urgency we face and demonstrate consistency between what we seek in public policy and how we live our lives.

    We welcome your feedback!

    We are aware that our list of organizations is incomplete. That is intentional. There are way too many to list them all and there is rapid flux. We wanted to spotlight those groups that appear to be doing high quality work. The list will be updated every three months. We welcome your feedback on how it can be improved. Reach out to us at andy@syracuseculturalworkers.com.

     

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