President Biden’s recent remarks about practically declaring a national emergency on the climate crisis have received backlash from environmental activists. They argue that Biden should take the necessary official steps to unlock greater power for his administration to combat climate change. The President’s comments during an interview with The Weather Channel left climate activists dissatisfied, as they were expecting a more concrete declaration.
Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, voiced her disappointment, stating that Biden has had a negative impact on communities and wildlife by supporting destructive carbon projects from Alaska to Appalachia. The issue lies in the fact that although Biden claims to have taken significant actions to address climate change as an emergency, he has not formally declared it as such. Such a declaration would provide the President with enhanced authority to expedite the energy transition and block fossil fuel projects without needing congressional approval.
Environmental advocates find it puzzling that Biden did not make an official declaration, as they believe it is crucial to effectively tackle the urgent issue of climate change. Varshini Prakash, executive director of the climate advocacy group Sunrise Movement, emphasized the importance of a genuine declaration rather than a mere statement made for television cameras.
Despite the criticism, Biden highlighted his administration’s efforts to address climate change, mentioning the signing of a significant climate bill and his commitment to conservation and clean energy investments during the interview. The White House responded by stating that Biden has consistently treated climate change as an emergency, providing examples of actions and policies implemented to combat the crisis.
This ongoing debate brings into question the administration’s dedication to addressing environmental concerns and its approach to utilizing emergency powers to tackle climate change.