Climate activists participate in a demonstration

Climate activists participate in a march from Freedom Plaza to Capitol Hill on October 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Surging Weather Extremes Fuel Fresh Demands for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

One campaignersaid political leaders must "use every tool in their power to abate the emergency that's no longer at our doorstep anymore, but that has a foot in the door and is already affecting people right now."

As record temperatures, deadly flooding, and other extreme weather driven by human-caused global heating hammer at least millions of people around the world, activists this week are once again imploring U.S. President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency.

Over the past week, the planet endured record-breaking average global temperatures, prompting United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to declare that "climate change is out of control."

Devastating monsoons in India, deadly downpours in Japan, flash floods in Spain, and torrential rains and flooding in the northeastern United States also underscored what climate scientists have long warned are the increasingly severe consequences of a warming planet.

"Now would be another perfect moment for President Biden to declare a climate emergency."

Meanwhile, tens of millions of people in the United States are bracing for an imminent heat dome expected to bring triple-digit temperatures to much of the southern part of the country this week.

The extreme weather chaos around the world has activists sounding the alarm and demanding the Biden administration issue a climate emergency declaration.

"It's terrifying to think that we're already here," John Paul Mejia, national spokesperson for the youth-led Sunrise Movement, toldSupercreatorDaily on Monday.

"And I think that that puts a lot of urgency to the political leaders of this moment who are endowed with a responsibility to use every tool in their power to abate the emergency that's no longer at our doorstep anymore, but that has a foot in the door and is already affecting people right now," Mejia added.

Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media, tweeted Monday that "now would be another perfect moment for President Biden to declare a climate emergency."

Noting the current chaos, Henn added that "we need political leaders to speak to the urgency of this crisis."

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is asking Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act and the Trade Expansion Act to boost domestic production of affordable renewable power and clean energy exports. The CPC also calls on the president to reinstate the ban on crude oil exports that was lifted by Congress and then-President Barack Obama in 2015.

A year ago, amid a previous record-shattering heatwave, Biden—who during his 2020 presidential campaign said that climate change was the "number one issue facing humanity"—reportedly considered making a historic declaration.

"This is an emergency, and I will look at it that way," the president said last July.

Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, are trying to preemptively block Biden from declaring a climate emergency. Late last month, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)—a fossil fuel investor who has received more than $1.4 million in industry campaign contributions—introduced legislation that would "prohibit the president from using the three primary statutory authorities available (the National Emergencies Act, the Stafford Act, and section 319 of the Public Health Service Act) to declare a national emergency solely on the basis of climate change."

According to Climate Mobilization, an environmental advocacy coalition, nearly 200 U.S. cities, counties, and other jurisdictions have declared climate emergencies over the past five years.

On Monday, Biden met with U.K. King Charles III in London's Windsor Castle, where they reportedly discussed the climate emergency and "engaged with a group of leading philanthropists and investors focused on mobilizing finance to address the climate crisis," according to the White House.

The renewed demands for Biden to declare a climate emergency come as new research published Monday revealed that last year's historically hot summer killed more than 61,000 people across Europe.

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