For Immediate Release
A Year After Trump Announced His Intent to Pull Out of The Paris Agreement, Climate Action Rises From The Bottom-Up
WASHINGTON - A year ago, Trump’s announcement that the United States would exit the Paris Climate Agreement galvanized commitments and actions from a wide range of cities, states, businesses, universities and communities all over the U.S. All other countries immediately pledged to move forward regardless, even though progress has fallen short of what is needed to avoid the worst of the climate crisis.
350.org Executive Director May Boeve, comments: “A year ago we said we would harness public outrage at Trump’s decision into meaningful on-the-ground action, and that’s what we have done. Every day we see new groups forming up and achieving big wins against fossil fuel projects and investments. In the meantime, the fossil fuel industry is on a terminal decline, side-lined by thousands of people mobilizing worldwide, launching lawsuits and blocking fossil fuel infrastructure with their own bodies.
“A year ago, as Trump sided with the fossil fuel lobby, we also launched a challenge to local governments, businesses and others to step up their climate game and implement real solutions. While the momentous wave of commitments to divest, go 100% renewable and ban fossil fuel projects has kept on, we’re here to remind leaders that we need tangible action, not just words. We can expect a groundswell of local actions between now and the end of the year, with people rising for climate everywhere.”
What happened this past year since the White House announcement:
- Job creation in the renewable energy sector has kept outgrowing the rest of the U.S. economy, confirming a worldwide trend: globally there are now already 10 million jobs in the renewable energy industry.
- 200,000 people participated in the People’s Climate March of 2017, surrounding the White House in resistance of Trump’s climate rollbacks and to demand action on climate, jobs, and justice
- Close to 3,000 cities, businesses, investors, faith organizations, high education and cultural institutions in the United States pledged to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement.
- U.S. cities and counties in California, Colorado, and the city of New York have taken steps to divest their funds from fossil fuel holdings. New York sued the five biggest oil companies in January 2018.
- Global cities like London and Paris is considering doing the same.
- Eight African capitals and metropolises have recently pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, joining a growing cohort of cities large and small.
- New fossil fuel projects are met everywhere with fierce popular resistance, from KeystoneXL and Bayou Bridge Pipelines in the United States to the Kinder Morgan pipeline in Canada, the giant Adani coal mine in Australia and to gas pipelines in Europe, all the while while banks and insurance companies are pressured into reviewing their environment and climate policies.
Next week, across the United States, the Poor People's Campaign will hold it's "Right to Health and a Healthy Planet" week of action to highlight the need to take bold action on climate and prioritize the poor in the transition away from fossil fuels. This follows 350's Executive Director May Boeve's arrest participating in the Campaign's launch earlier this month.
On June 8th, Mayors from across the country will gather in Boston for the US Conference of Mayors, where communities will highlight the responsibility of officials -- especially at the local level -- in filling the void of climate leadership from the Trump administration. Boston groups are planning a rally, and across the U.S. folks will target their local Mayors in the lead-up to September's Summit.
Rise for Climate:
On 12-14 September, the Global Climate Action Summit organized by California governor Jerry Brown aims to showcase efforts by local and regional governments as well as the business community.
On 8 September, people from across the world will host gatherings, hold rallies and take actions to demand true climate leadership at the summit and beyond. Communities taking part in the global Rise for Climate mobilization will be pushing to secure a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all and a ban to all fossil fuel projects, old and new. In the U.S., we will be mobilizing as “Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice” to ensure that elected officials are ramping up ambitions and implementing real solutions to the climate crisis that prioritize a just transition for workers and justice for communities most impacted by the climate crisis.
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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.