"President Biden must declare a climate emergency and go all-out to stop the climate crisis," said the youth-led movement's campaign director.
After nearly two dozen Sunrise Movement campaigners were arrested Monday at U.S. President Joe Biden's 2024 campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, the youth-led climate group is planning over 40 protests across the country.
Next Monday, movement members plan to demonstrate at local Democratic Party offices and city halls to demand that Biden declare a national climate emergency and use the full extent of his powers to tackle the fossil fuel-driven global crisis.
"Biden can't build renewables on Monday, approve fossil fuels on Tuesday, and then claim to be climate president. That's not how science works, and young voters know it," said Sunrise campaign director Kidus Girma in a statement Thursday. "President Biden must declare a climate emergency and go all-out to stop the climate crisis."
"He could end the fossil fuel era by refusing to approve a single oil or gas well in this country."
"There are dozens of things he could sign into law tomorrow if he wanted," Girma noted. "He could make sure that every time a climate disaster hits, no one gets evicted and everyone has access to free healthcare. He could end the fossil fuel era by refusing to approve a single oil or gas well in this country."
Sunrise is calling on the Democratic president to reverse the massive rise in U.S. fossil fuel production—rather than approving projects like Willow in Alaska—and to "create green union jobs by unleashing the full power of the Defense Production Act."
The group's plans for next week's protests were announced as nine Democrats joined Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill intended to reverse Biden's recent pause on approvals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, and as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rubber-stamped the Saguaro Connector Pipeline in Texas.
While Biden has faced intense criticism from campaigners and scientists for various decisions—from backing Willow and Mountain Valley Pipeline to continuing fossil fuel lease sales and skipping last year's United Nations summit—former President Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, has been far more hostile toward climate policies.
Young voters like those who belong to the Sunrise Movement were key to Biden's defeat of Trump in 2020 and to Democrats preventing the predicted "red wave" in 2022. They are expected to play a key role in this November's elections.