The last few weeks have been intense as we wrapped up Biden’s first 100 days in office and celebrated Earth Day. They also show a clear path forward for what we have to do next, and how the next few months of action for our planet will probably go.
This post wraps up the last few actions that set the tone and stakes of our action together. But the next step you can take to make the next 100 days a success is to call your member of Congress and tell them to pass the THRIVE act. The THRIVE Act is a transformational economic recovery and infrastructure package that invest $10 trillion to put 15 million people to work in good, union, family sustaining jobs, cuts climate pollution, and advances racial, Indigenous, gender, environmental, and economic justice.
Here’s what’s been happening:
On Wednesday, April 21, frontline leaders, youth strikers, and climate and environmental justice activists joined together to escalate the demand for President Joe Biden to #BuildBackFossilFree and stop all new fossil fuel projects, on the eve of his Leaders Summit on Climate. The action (supported by 198 methods) featured the famous “Climate Clock” from New York City, which visualizes the rapid action the US and the world need to take to stop climate change. Check out the video below from partners at 350.org and share some of the great news coverage in NowThis, the New York Times, and Common Dreams.
The next day, Gulf Coast leaders echoed those demands as Biden’s climate summit began with a second line (A New Orleans style funeral procession), a powerful speak out led by indigenous, frontline and fence-line leaders, and a delivery of calling on Biden to #DefendTheGulf from oil, gas, and petrochemical industries. Check out coverage of our actions in the Washington Post, and amplify our action and demands with this social media share pack, graphics and photos from the Wednesday action and the Thursday action here (photo credit: Laura Beth Pelner/Movement Catalyst).
Last Wednesday, President Biden addressed a join session of Congress to mark the occasion of his first 100 days in office. And, when it comes to climate change, we have gotten a pretty good sense of what he intends to do, and how he’s planning to take action. Biden made mention of his big goals – a 50% cut in global warming pollution by 2035, and 100% clean electricity by the same date. Those are really good, and roughly double what Obama promised when he was President. But they’re still only 75% as much as scientists say we need to cut emissions, and there’s a lot of questions about whether fracked gas, or other dirty fuels, will get included in that “clean” electricity standard. (Lots more about what Biden is proposing, vs the level of ambition we need in this post).
Biden said in his speech of that will get accomplished through the administration’s American Jobs Plan – a sweeping investment of more than $2 trillion dollars that’s intended to build a lot of clean energy, electric cars, and other infrastructure we need to create jobs and cut climate pollution at the same time. But again, what President Biden is proposing is only part of what we need. Even if you add in the $1.9 trillion investment in COVID relief that we supported earlier this year, and the nearly $2 trillion Biden proposes to spend on things like education, paid family leave, and other good priorities – it all adds up to about $6 trillion over ten years. Which sounds like, and is, a lot of money and a lot more investment in a climate-friendly economy than any President in history. But economists, experts, and scientists all agree we need a $10 trillion investment over that same time period.
So there you have it: President Biden proposes a 50% cut in climate emissions – but we need a 75% cut by 2035; And President Biden is proposing a $6 trillion investment in climate-safe jobs and communities, when we need a $10 trillion investment over 10 years.
The answer to how we bridge the gap between President Biden’s excellent early steps on climate action, and the even bigger steps we need is the THRIVE Agenda, and the big, energized coalition behind it. For the next 100 days, Congress will be wrestling with whether and how to enact President Biden’s big proposals on infrastructure, jobs, and the economy. They probably wont enact every idea President Biden has proposed – and it’s our job to pressure them to make the proposals bigger, bolder, and stronger.
We have a historic chance for Congress to pass a transformational economic recovery and infrastructure package that puts 15 million people to work in good, union, family sustaining jobs, cuts climate pollution, and advances racial, Indigenous, gender, environmental, and economic justice. You can start right now, on day 101, by calling your member of Congress and telling them to get on board with the THRIVE Act, and start pushing Biden to #BuildBackBolder by #BuildBackFossilFree.
PS – Just like Earth Day marked the end of Biden’s first 100 days in office and gave us a useful benchmark to evaluate progress – the next hundred days will wrap up just before the anniversary of the global climate strike, and the UN’s annual meeting on climate change in New York. For the next 100 days, we’ll keep the pressure on Biden, and push Congress to go even farther in the direction of bold climate action. But to keep fighting, we can use your support. Chip in here to help us power more actions, events, call in days and more!