Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) called on President Joe Biden to declare the climate crisis a national emergency, echoing calls that other Democratic lawmakers and activists have been making in past months and years.
“I think it might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency,” said Schumer on MSNBC on Monday. “Then he can do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that he could do without legislation. Now, [Donald] Trump used this emergency for his stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one.”
The emergency declaration would allow Biden to direct funds to clean energy projects and suspend activities like oil drilling and crude oil exports.
Schumer has now joined a cohort of Democrats who are calling the climate crisis an emergency like the over 100 Democrats who introduced a House Resolution in 2019. He also joins over 380 climate groups that, in December, called on Biden to issue an executive order declaring an emergency over the climate crisis.
If Biden were to do so, he would be joining 38 other countries and over 100 local U.S. cities and counties in declaring a national emergency on climate. Though, as Grist points out, Biden refers to the climate crisis as an emergency in speeches and documents, he has yet to formally declare one using his presidential powers.