Around 500 US environmental groups have said the next US president must declare a national climate emergency.
The #ClimatePresident action plan was launched by the organisations during the UN’s COP25 summit in Madrid – they urged the next administration to take 10 executive actions in its first 10 days in office, in order to tackle the issue of climate change.
The steps include signing back up to the Paris Agreement following the nation’s departure under President Trump, as well as revising commitments to make “meaningful emissions reductions and finance pledges”.
The groups say the next leader should declare a national climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act, work to keep fossil fuels in the ground, end fossil fuel exports and infrastructure approvals, shift financial flows from fossil fuels to climate solutions and use the Clean Air Act to set a science-based limit for greenhouse gas levels.
It argues the country also needs to power its electricity sector with 100% renewable energy by 2030, guarantee a just transition, support affected communities and workers and make polluters pay for the damage they have caused.
The climate groups say the US must “do its fair share” as the “world’s largest cumulative historical emitter of greenhouse gases” – it adds the plan focuses on empowering executive authorities to kickstart the transition to a “regenerative and equitable” economy for the country.
Jean Su, Energy Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said: “America is the number one historical contributor to the climate emergency that’s burning California, flooding the Southeast and wreaking havoc on the rest of the world.
“The next president must repay this extraordinary climate debt by rapidly moving America to 100% clean energy, ending fossil fuel extraction and financing the decarbonisation of the Global South with justice and equity.”