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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Climate Hunger Strikers Confront Senator Manchin, He Wrongly Asserts “The United States Has Done More Than Any Other Country” on Climate


Today following Senator Joe Manchin’s event at the Economic Club of DC, three climate hunger strikers, who are on day seven without food, confronted the Senator on cutting back climate provisions from the reconciliation package.

In the conversation with Abby Leedy, one of the strikers, Senator Manchin wrongly answered Abby’s questions on climate by asserting, “the United States has done more than any other country. All the emissions are coming from Asia.”

“Joe Manchin, if the United States of America doesn’t cut our emissions by at least 50%, I will grow up through non stop climate emergencies. I have been on a hunger strike for seven days, since last Tuesday,” responded Abby Leedy. “If the US doesn’t pass massive climate action this fall, it is too late. This is one of our last chances.”

“To be clear, the United States has done more than any other country to cause climate change, emitting more than anyone else by a fair margin,” said Varshini Prakash, Executive Director of Sunrise Movement. “Senator Manchin is clearly drafting his climate plan with false information. At worst he’s telling us lies given to him by his fossil fuel donors. At best, he’s misinformed. Biden can’t listen to him and must continue to fight for the climate provisions he promised me and our generation when he was running – a fully funded Civilian Climate Corps, cutting at least 50% of U.S. emissions by 2030 and maintaining his commitment of 100% clean energy by no later than 2035. Anything less is a failure.”

These three commitments are the ones promised to Varshini Prakash and others in the Biden-Sanders Unity Taskforce during Biden’s presidential run.

The full video is linked here.

This follows seven days of hunger striking by activists like Abby. The hunger strike comes at a time where Joe Biden is negotiating down his climate agenda with politicians like Joe Manchin, who have demanded vital climate policies be removed from reconciliation. This could be the final week of negotiations.

The hunger strikers are demanding Biden deliver on his climate justice promises. 

  • Pass the full scope of the reconciliation bill to ensure the United States reduces emissions at least 50% by 2030, while advancing justice and creating millions of new good union jobs. 
  • Include a Civilian Climate Corps, direct investments in public schools, housing, transit, a public clean energy accelerator, and a 100% clean energy grid by no later than 2035 to reduce emissions across major sectors and improve our communities. 
  • There can be no investments towards fossil fuels.


Sunrise Movement is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.

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