Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the media after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the media after the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

AOC, Bernie Sanders to Introduce Resolution Calling 'Existential Threat' of the Climate Crisis an 'Emergency'

"We are facing a climate emergency that requires a massive and immediate federal mobilization."

Eoin Higgins

A cohort of progressive Democrats plan to introduce a resolution declaring a climate emergency Tuesday in Congress, a move that could open the door to decisive action on the crisis.

The Guardian's Emily Holden reported Monday afternoon that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) are expected to introduce a resolution calling for naming the climate crisis an "emergency" on Tuesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also plans to introduce the resolution in the upper chamber, according to the reporting.

In comment to The Guardian, Blumenauer's office said that the congressman "decided to draft the resolution after Donald Trump declared an emergency at the U.S. border with Mexico so he could pursue building a wall between the two countries."

In her reporting, Holden urged caution.

"Even if the resolution passed and was signed by the president, it would not force any action on climate change," wrote Holden. "But advocates say similar efforts in Canada and the United Kingdom have served as a leverage point, highlighting the hypocrisy between the government position that the situation is an emergency and individual decisions that would exacerbate the problem."

A spokesperson for Sanders said the senator was moving forward on the resolution because President Donald Trump's policies are making things worse. 

"On the existential threat of climate change, Trump insists on calling it a hoax," said the spokesperson. "Senator Sanders is proud to partner with his House colleagues to challenge this absurdity and have Congress declare what we all know: we are facing a climate emergency that requires a massive and immediate federal mobilization."

The news came just before Trump delivered a climate address dismissed by the Environmental Working Group as an "utter fantasy."

On Twitter, Sanders leveled criticisms on the president donning the mantle of a climate advocate. 

"We don't have time for more lies," said Sanders. "We must address the climate crisis now."

News of the upcoming resolution was welcomed by progressive organizations. 

"The climate crisis is a true emergency, and it must be dealt with as such," the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee tweeted, thanking the lawmakers for their action. 

The Democratic Socialists of America said on Twitter that Sanders understands "this isn't just climate change, it's a climate emergency."

"The solution is to reorganize our economy so it works for both people and the planet, not the profit of fossil fuel companies," the group added.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

14-Year-Old Indigenous Land Defender Killed in Colombia

"We condemn the killing of Breiner David Cucuñame!" says Fridays for Future MAPA. "We join the calls for justice and stand in solidarity with the environmental defenders in Colombia and across the world!"

Jessica Corbett ·


Catching Up With Progressives, Biden Provides N95s Nationwide

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who introduced the Masks for All Act in July 2020, called the move "a good first step."

Julia Conley ·


Bank Blocks Donations Supporting Cuban Effort to Vaccinate World

"A European bank, established in the Netherlands, has decided to put the interests of the U.S. government above the lives of millions of people."

Kenny Stancil ·


450+ Climate Scientists Demand PR Industry Drop Fossil Fuel Clients

"To put it simply, advertising and public relations campaigns for fossil fuels must stop," states an open letter to ad agencies and major firms.

Andrea Germanos ·


100+ Ultra-Rich People Warn Fellow Elites: 'It's Taxes or Pitchforks'

"History paints a pretty bleak picture of what the endgame of extremely unequal societies looks like," reads an open letter signed by millionaires and billionaires calling for higher taxes on people like themselves.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo