21 July 2022, Washington, D.C. – President Biden has yet to declare the patently obvious, that the world is experiencing a climate emergency. Global Witness is among over 1,000 organizations who have urged the US President to issue an emergency declaration that would unleash the full power of the presidential authority to address the greatest existential crisis the world is facing.
Despite pre-election pledges to prioritize the climate crisis, so far President Biden has failed to deliver on any meaningful climate reforms, while also ramping up exports of climate-wrecking fossil gas to Europe, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. A secretive task force set up between the EU and the US, that includes fossil gas companies, was set up expressly to boost gas exports to Europe. A climate emergency declaration would allow the President to change course and reinstate a ban on crude oil exports, among other key measures.
Likewise, declaring a climate emergency would empower the President to ban imports of products grown on deforested land. We need to keep forests standing to help curb warming and keep the world cool. As deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reaches new records, and forest cover around the world shrinks, this step is critical to any effective emergency plan.
Zorka Milin, Senior Advisor at Global Witness, said:
"Just as yesterday Biden has fallen short in declaring a climate emergency, so have his administration’s actions on tackling the climate crisis so far. If he wants to be remembered as the climate president he pledged to be, he must immediately declare a climate emergency and use all available powers to limit fossil fuel production and export, and support a just transition to clean energy.”
Veronica Oakeshott, Forests Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:
“Everyday products from deforested land are pouring into the US market, fuelling deforestation and making the climate crisis bite harder. And every single day, US financiers are enabling this to happen. Biden must declare a climate emergency and use his presidential powers to keep climate-critical forests standing. As part of this emergency response, the President needs to ban deforested goods from the US market and cut off the multi-billion dollar money pipeline to forest-wrecking business.”