For Immediate Release

The Frontlines Showed Up for Biden, Now He Must Show Up for Us

Climate Justice communities demand bold action in first 100 days.

WASHINGTON - While this last week was dominated by coverage of white supremacist plans for insurrection, along with the myriad ways in which Trump and Republicans should be held to account, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities understand the true culprit is the very system which enabled white supremacy to grow in the first place: our racist, settler-colonial state. From inception, this inhumane model has extracted labor from our bodies and stolen from our lands. Ameliorating the existing racist social, cultural and institutional practices that have enabled this moment will require much more than a change in political party. To even begin the process will require bold and transformative policies crafted in deep consultation and partnership with Black, Brown, Indigenous Peoples and other working class communities.

Those living on the frontlines of our interconnected economic, social, democratic, and climate crises brought about the electoral victory celebrated today. For this reason,  we hold President Biden accountable for delivering on his promises, starting today. Incremental policies that maintain or increase the existing sacrifice zones and further harm our communities are unacceptable. 

In order to genuinely address the four overlapping crises: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis, climate change, and racial equity, which the incoming administration has committed to making its most pressing priorities, during the first 100 days of the Biden/Harris Administration, we call on the President to immediately take these 25 key executive actions to build back fossil free by:

  • Protecting and investing in the Black, Indigenous, Brown, and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution, extraction and climate disasters;
  • Rejecting new fossil fuel projects, eliminating giveaways to oil, gas, and coal corporations, and ending the era of fossil fuel production in a way that fosters a just and equitable transition for workers and communities;
  • Launching a national climate mobilization to Build Back Fossil Free, deliver jobs, justice, create real solutions to reducing emissions, and opportunity for all; 

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Additionally, we call on the Biden/Harris Administration to: 

  • End evictions and stop utility shut offs. Direct the CDC in coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to immediately extend, strengthen, and enforce national moratoria on all evictions and utility shut offs for the duration of the pandemic.
  • Cancel rent, mortgages, and debt. Work with Congress and State and Local governments to suspend rent and mortgage obligations and all rent, utility, and mortgage debt as result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as laid out by Right to the City Alliance and Human Impact Partners.

While we applaud reversing many of Trump’s policies, including rejoining the international community in the Paris Agreement, this is the bare minimum. Techno-fixes, market schemes, and false solutions to the climate crisis through neo-liberal paradigms like this are neither progressive nor beneficial to our communities. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which includes carbon offsets and other false mechanisms, should be eliminated from the agreement because it does not align with the values and tenets of climate justice or Indigenous and Tribal sovereignty. Maintaining or increasing sacrifice zones in our communities that are the direct consequence of neo-liberal market based approaches, such as the above and others like carbon market mechanisms and risky geoengineering projects, are not solutions. They are subsidies to Big Business that serve to continue the historical harm the newly-elected President Biden has committed himself to stopping. We need aspirational leadership, not more of the same. We have provided  answers and solutions through various avenues, including but not limited to the THRIVE AgendaBuild Back Fossil FreeNational Justice Housing Platform and A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy, and we will hold you accountable to making them happen. 

We look forward to cultivating true partnerships with the Biden/Harris Administration that are based on the Jemez Principles  and the wisdom of the frontlines, with effective solutions that are generated by the communities most impacted.

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The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force. Our translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing capacity is building a Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies. We believe that the process of transition must place race, gender and class at the center of the solutions equation in order to make it a truly Just Transition.

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