Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Epic Climate March Activates Communities to Transition to 100% Renewable Energy

Popular
Epic Climate March Activates Communities to Transition to 100% Renewable Energy

Following the epic April 29 Climate March for jobs, justice and climate, organizers are focusing on building powerful and lasting change at the local and state level.


Organizers plan to harness the momentum from the Peoples Climate March back into their own communities to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure, secure commitments for transitioning to 100 percent clean energy, prioritize solutions in communities hardest hit by the climate crisis and pressure elected officials to choose a side.

Last weekend, on the 100th day of the Trump presidency, more than 200,000 people mobilized at the Peoples Climate March, surrounding the White House to resist to the administration's attacks on people and the planet, and present a bold vision for the transition away from fossil fuels toward 100 percent renewable energy. Enduring record heat, heavy rain, and driving snow, more than 370 sister marches took place across the country and around the world. Now, organizers are taking this power back to their communities.

"The best defense is a good offense. We know we'll get nothing but regression from the executive branch, so we're going to build power in every community across the country to fight for climate justice," said Jenny Marienau, 350.org U.S. campaigns director.

"The Trump administration spent its first months in office rolling back hard-won protections of our communities and our climate. We spent it developing a shared vision of the transition away from fossil fuels toward a 100 percent clean energy that works for all of us."

In the lead-up to the Peoples Climate March, 350.org launched a pledge to harness the energy of the hundreds of thousands of people already mobilized for the march and channel it back into campaigns for lasting local change.

"We learned invaluable lessons in the fights for fossil fuel divestment and against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines," said Marienau.

"Now, with fossil fuel companies perpetuating climate chaos from the nation's highest office, we're wielding those learnings to make sure the fight to stop fossil fuel projects is a top issue for anyone currently in or considering, elected office."

This level of building local power is well-underway across the country. The Indigenous-led fights against the risky Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines brought together unprecedented coalitions of groups fighting for justice at every level. In Nevada, the Moapa Band of Paiutes—subjected to half a century of toxic coal waste—launched a solar power project while organizing to shutter a nearby coal station. Led by local group 350PDX, Portland, Oregon unanimously passed a resolution banning any new fossil fuel infrastructure from passing through the region. Just days after the Climate March, Atlanta, Georgia became the largest in the U.S. South to commit to transitioning to 100 percent clean energy, heeding the community's calls for bold solutions. In New York, the broad Divest NY coalition is building power across the state in escalating the call for the city and state comptrollers to cut ties with fossil fuels and reinvest in New Yorkers.

Days ahead of the historic Peoples Climate mobilization, Senators Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders introduced the "100 by '50 Act," a piece of legislation that calls for 100 percent clean energy by 2050. While recognizing the legislation likely won't move under the Trump administration, the Senators and their supporters view this as a "roadmap for America."

"If this type of visionary legislation can be introduced at the federal level under the Trump administration, there's no excuse left for officials at the city and state level," said Jason Kowalski, 350.org U.S. policy director.

"At the Peoples Climate March, we put forward this vision nationally. Now we'll hold every elected official accountable—no one is off the hook."

By working at the local and regional level, communities will organize for powerful and lasting change, forcing elected officials to choose a side: that of Trump and his fossil fuel billionaire cabinet or that of the people fighting for a stable climate and an economy that works for everyone.

"The majority of people in the U.S. support replacing fossil fuels with a clean energy economy, so we're going to make this an issue in every community across the country," said Marienau. "With intensifying storms and droughts, we'll work to make sure those most responsible pay for these impacts. Only with bold demands will we secure the just transition toward a 100 percent clean energy economy that works for all of us."

A crowd of climate activists march behind a banner in NYC during Climate Week on September 20, 2020. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Breanna Draxler

After decades on the political periphery, the climate movement is entering the mainstream in 2020, with young leaders at the fore. The Sunrise Movement now includes more than 400 local groups educating and advocating for political action on climate change. Countless students around the world have clearly communicated what's at stake for their futures, notably Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who just finished her yearlong school strike for climate. Youth activists have been praised for their flexible, big-picture thinking and ability to harness social media to deliver political wins, as Sunrise recently did for U.S. Sen. Ed Markey's primary campaign. They necessarily challenge the status quo.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Presidential nominee Joe Biden has not taken a stance on gas exports, including liquefied natural gas. Ken Hodge / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Simon Montlake

For more than a decade, Susan Jane Brown has been battling to stop a natural gas pipeline and export terminal from being built in the backcountry of Oregon. As an attorney at the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center, she has repeatedly argued that the project's environmental, social, and health costs are too high.

All that was before this month's deadly wildfires in Oregon shrouded the skies above her home office in Portland. "It puts a fine point on it. These fossil fuel projects are contributing to global climate change," she says.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less
A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less
A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch