Not Just ‘Build Back Better’: Climate Groups Call on Biden to ‘Build Back Fossil Free’

Common Dreams – By Julia Conley – Thursday December 17, 2020

“Biden can take the bold action we need on Day One, including immediately ending new fossil fuel permits and project approvals and declaring a climate emergency to ignite our clean and democratic energy revolution.”

Demanding far-reaching policies to keep more fossil fuels in the ground and ramp up the renewable energy transition, a coalition of environmental, racial, and economic justice groups launched a new campaign Thursday calling on President-elect Joe Biden to go beyond his vague campaign pledge to “build back better” from the coronavirus pandemic and its corresponding recession.

To ensure a lasting recovery and a sustainable economy, the organizations said, Biden must “Build Back Fossil Free”—something he can do largely without the help of the U.S. Congress, through dozens of executive actions he can take as soon as he is inaugurated on January 20.

At the Build Back Fossil Free campaign’s website, which went live early Thursday morning, groups including, Greenpeace, Indivisible, and the Center for Biological Diversity explain that Biden’s executive actions must focus on undoing the damage caused by decades of environmental racism and injustice and the extraction of fossil fuels.

“Mr. President-elect, you should use all the tools at your disposal to avert further climate devastation while helping people recover from the pandemic,” the organizations, which represent millions of advocates across the country, wrote. “That means using your executive authority from Day One to:

Protect and invest in the Black, Indigenous, Brown, and working-class communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution and climate disaster.
End the era of fossil fuel production, reject fossil fuel projects, and eliminate giveaways to oil, gas, and coal corporations.
Launch a national climate mobilization to Build Back Fossil Free, delivering jobs, justice, and opportunity for all.”

As many progressives have said since Biden decisively won the presidential election on November 3—with the help of get-out-the-vote efforts by progressive lawmakers including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and grassroots organizers at the Sunrise Movement, all of whom backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary—Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris owe far-reaching climate action “to the communities that elected them,” said campaign manager Jenny Marienau Zimmer.

“Indian Country showed up for Joe Biden,” tweeted the Indigenous Environmental Network. “With a stroke of a pen, he can use executive power to show up for Indian Country.”

“There can be no just transition without keeping fossil fuels in the ground. As fossil fuel companies attempt to push forward toxic and unnecessary pipelines like Line 3 and KXL, we seek a just transition that stops fossil fuel extraction, makes fossil fuel companies pay for damages, and restores the self-determination of impacted Black, Indigenous, communities of color, and working-class communities,” Zimmer said. “We are throwing all into holding them to their promises of a renewable, regenerative economy that puts our health and safety first.”

More than 380 groups on Wednesday demanded that Biden declare a climate emergency on his first day as president. Last month, journalist David Dayen also made the case for the president-elect to sign an executive order to provide Medicare coverage to everyone in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With or without the Senate, the Center for Biological Diversity said, Biden has a clear “political mandate” to be a “climate president.” Polls taken just before the election by the New York Times and Siena College showed that 90% of voters who planned to support Biden were concerned about the climate crisis, while just 23% of President Donald Trump’s supporters cited the planetary emergency as a concern.

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone


Comments are closed.


December 2022
« Nov    

User Login