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Tom Steyer Pledges to Declare the Climate Crisis a National Emergency in Robust Climate Plan Unveiled Today

Steyer plans to declare the climate crisis a national emergency on day one of his presidency and use the emergency powers of the office to protect the American public

The plan ensures clean air and water, honors the contributions and sacrifices of workers in fossil fuel industries, and prioritizes justice for communities that have been treated as environmental dumping grounds for far too long

 

(San Francisco, July 25, 2019) — Today, presidential candidate Tom Steyer rolled out a bold and aggressive framework for his Justice-Centered Climate Plan to curtail the climate crisis and to protect the American people from the ongoing health and security threats they face as a result of environmental degradation. Steyer’s plan is an actionable path forward that reestablishes the United States as a global leader on climate. It does so by transforming our economy in a way that gives us moral authority, establishing us as technological leaders worldwide, and making the climate crisis the focus of our international diplomacy and trade policy.

In his plan, Steyer vows to treat climate change as a crisis as big and urgent as any other crisis that the country has faced, and outlines a plan rooted in social justice to protect low-income communities, fossil fuel workers, and communities of color. Steyer’s plan tackles the climate crisis comprehensively, starting with prioritizing people over polluting corporations, creating millions of union jobs, and building a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future for all Americans.

On day one of his presidency, Steyer pledges to declare the climate crisis a national emergency, and to use the emergency powers of the presidency to tackle the climate crisis if Congress fails to act swiftly. Steyer will direct every part of the executive branch to align their rules and decisions with the country’s global and domestic science-backed climate goals. Steyer will also challenge Congress to pass vital legislation to enact a Green New Deal and provide additional funding to protect the country against climate and weather-related natural disasters. The five pillars of Steyer’s Justice-Centered Climate Plan address the injustices at the heart of the climate crisis:

  • Justice-based pollution reduction targets and actions. Steyer believes it is critical to end our dependence on fossil fuels and drive all forms of global warming pollution to net-zero by 2045. His plan will accomplish this— in part — by eliminating fossil fuel pollution from all sectors, scaling up energy efficiency, eliminating asthma-causing and toxic air pollution from diesel engines and power plants by 2030, tripling federal funding for research, development, and deployment of advanced clean technology, and helping cities and regions establish climate-smart plans for local transportation and affordable housing.

 

  • A people powered economy: Grassroots planning and Civilian Climate Corps. Steyer believes the people best equipped to understand the unique needs of America’s diverse urban, rural, and suburban areas are the people who live there. His plan will notably create one million jobs through a Civilian Climate Corps, and ensure that communities have the tools, training, and dedicated resources to lead the clean energy and healthy climate transition from the ground up. As president, Steyer will create the infrastructure in our government to listen, respond, and act on recommendations from community voices and coordinate among all branches and levels of government.

 

  • Transform the extraction economy into a regenerative economy: Fair wages and employment in the clean energy economy and putting public lands to work for the public. Steyer believes that we must invest in workers, families, and towns, as well as honor those who have devoted their lives to keeping our lights on and our vehicles moving. To build an inclusive, regenerative economy, his plan— among other measures — will:

    • Invest $50 billion to help fossil fuel communities as they diversify their economies.

    • Ensure that former fossil fuel workers have access to healthcare, equivalent wages, and benefits.

    • Protect workers entering new industries in a diversifying economy by ensuring they have the right to retain or transfer union membership and to establish new unions in growing industries.

    • End all forms of government giveaways to big polluters at the expense of American taxpayers.

 

  • Invest in America: Climate-smart infrastructure, fair labor and clean product purchase standards, and redirecting capital to just and clean investments.Steyer believes that we must establish clear goals and rules for how investments flow to avoid the same decisions of the past that led to extreme inequality and unjust environmental degradation. To ensure we are building a fair and sustainable country equipped for the 21st century, Steyer’s plan— in part — will:

    • Dedicate $2 trillion in federal funding over ten years— mobilizing trillions more in private capital — to long-overdue investments in America’s infrastructure.

    • Protect residents rights’ to self-determination as investments are made in their communities.

    • Implement federal and state incentives to establish the U.S. as the top exporter of clean energy technology globally.

 

  • Climate-secure America: Build resilience to disasters, protect our troops and national security, and restore America’s global leadership. Steyer believes the Commander in Chief must protect us from the immediate dangers of climate change, and ensure our country’s prosperity. The United States is indispensable to global climate action, and as president, Steyer will boldly execute the country’s duty to lead. To re-establish the United States as a global leader and to create a safer, more secure America, Steyer’s plan— among other measures — will:

    • Secure armed forces and military bases against extreme weather through smart infrastructure investments and planning.

    • Improve systems for disaster prevention, resiliency, response, and recovery.

    • Redouble our commitment to vital international agreements like the Paris Agreement.

    • Work to end global finance for coal-fired power plants, and strengthen and improve accountability procedures for enforcing human rights and environmental requirements for international energy projects.

 

“We can’t continue to deny science and roll back environmental protections. We must treat the climate crisis with the urgency it demands,” Steyer said in a video posted today. “As president, I will work first and foremost to restore power to the people… A better and safer future is possible if we act now. We will boost local economies, support diverse businesses, and create millions of good jobs, while ensuring justice and protecting the planet.”

For over a decade, Steyer has taken on the oil lobby to win clean air laws and fight for renewable energy. Seven years ago, he launched a national environmental organization that quickly grew to include millions of supporters to defeat powerful special interests. This work led to closing tax loopholes, defending pollution limits, and putting more clean energy on the grid. More recently, Steyer signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge to reject campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.