THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – MARCH 24, 2023
Mar 24, 2023
April was a busy month for protecting our Earth. All month, LCV, with your support, held leaders accountable and won policies that will build a healthier, more just, and more sustainable world for all.
The month kicked off with the release of the latest urgent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which states in stark terms what we already know: this is our “now or never moment” to act on climate change. The U.N. called the window for action to stabilize the climate “vanishingly small”, yet stressed that nations can still preserve a livable planet if we act boldly now, especially if we rapidly expand clean renewable energy as the core driver of climate solutions.
LCV couldn’t agree more — this is the hope that motivates us to keep pushing elected leaders at every level of government to turn their climate promises into reality and deliver solutions to millions of people NOW.
With your support, we have renewed our advocacy for Congress to enact the $550 billion in equitable climate investments already passed by the U.S. House before Memorial Day, which is also the start of summer and the season of severe climate impacts including hurricanes and wildfires in North America.
We honored National Park Week (the week before Earth Day) by mobilizing supporters to tell President Biden to designate two new national monuments that preserve unique places and help protect 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030. We held Earth Day events across the country, including a large “Fight for Our Future” rally in Washington, D.C., part of a national push to build momentum and pressure for the White House and Senate leaders to act on climate now.
We did all this and much more to protect our Earth this month. Here are your Top 5 items for this April:
1.) LCV and Partner Groups: Congress Must Pass Climate Package Before Memorial Day
Ahead of President Biden’s remarks on Earth Day, LCV joined some of the nation’s top environmental, environmental justice, and public health groups in a pointed letter to President Biden urging him to take swift action on climate by finalizing a deal to pass into law the $555 billion in climate, justice, jobs, and clean energy investments that the House of Representatives approved last November. READ the full letter here.
The Earth Day letter came just one day before LCV and our partners in the labor and environmental justice movements brought thousands of activists and advocates to deliver this message to elected leaders with a rally in Washington, D.C., and more than 100 other events around the country. The Earth Day events, letter, and other actions are all part of our renewed push to get a deal on climate legislation before Memorial Day, which will put the U.S. on a path to energy independence while reducing households’ energy costs, cutting climate emissions at least in half by 2030, and building an equitable, inclusive, and just future for all.
Our Earth Day rally and renewed advocacy push has gained media attention across the country, including from the New York Times, Washington Post, TIME magazine, CNN, and other outlets.
Related: On Earth Day, President Biden signed an executive order recognizing the need to protect old-growth and mature forests, boost wildfire resilience, and combat global deforestation. READ LCV’s statement here.
2.) New Ads: Climate Groups Call out Republicans for Taking Big Oil Money (VIDEO)
LCV continues to hold members of Congress publicly accountable for taking campaign contributions from Big Oil executives and lobbyists while blocking common-sense climate and clean energy legislation that would lower costs for families.
With our partner Climate Power, LCV recently ran ads calling out U.S. House members for taking Big Oil money and voting against climate progress. The ads featured Reps. Mike Garcia (CA-25), Michelle Steel (CA-48), Maria Salazar (FL-27), and Carlos Gimenez (FL-26), who represent districts on the front lines of the climate crisis and high gas prices. We also worked with Climate Power on a national ad featuring House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who were the top two recipients of oil and gas money in the House last cycle.
WATCH the ad (“Higher Profits”) here and read the full press release here.
Related: On April 6, as oil and gas CEOs testified before Congress to answer for excessive prices during the Ukraine crisis, LCV was on the National Mall with an art installation featuring a wall of oil barrels to highlight the industry’s price-gouging. VIEW our art installation and read the statement from LCV President Gene Karpinski here.
3.) Maryland Enacts the Strongest Carbon Pollution Goal in the Nation
We celebrated a major state-level policy victory on April 8 when Maryland’s Climate Solutions Now Act became law. The Act, which gives the state the strongest carbon emissions reduction goal in the nation — 60 percent by 2031, and a goal of net-zero climate emissions by 2045 — includes concrete steps for reducing pollution and allocating resources for low-to-moderate income communities that are disproportionately harmed by the climate crisis.
To help win passage, our state affiliate, Maryland LCV, mobilized more than 12,000 Marylanders to contact their legislators, held 100 meetings with legislators and allies, ran a door-to-door canvass in three critical legislative districts, delivered 10,000 postcard’s to Governor Hogan’s office, and published a full-page ad in the Baltimore Sun urging Gov. Hogan not to veto the bill. It worked.
Notably, the new law creates the first-in-the-nation mandate that school buses purchased after 2024 be zero-emission — a goal long championed by LCV’s Chispa program — and requires that state passenger and light-duty vehicles be zero-emission by 2031 and 2036, respectively. Chispa MD and Maryland LCV also helped win a pilot program in which utilities partner with school boards to buy electric school buses and use them as energy storage.
Related: To highlight how cities are acting on clean energy and climate justice, LCV held a virtual press event featuring Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and U.S. Transportation Secretary and former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. WATCH a recording of the event here or read what event speakers said here.
4.) Artists Building Community Power: Daniel González
Over the past few years, LCV has teamed up with dozens of artists to uplift our mission of building power for people and the planet, and to start conversations about the challenges communities face and their power to make change from the ground up.
Artist Daniel González recently teamed up with LCV and Chispa AZ to make a papel picado-inspired art installation in Phoenix, which called attention to the urgent need for climate justice, immigration rights, and voter protection. González‘s papel picados reflect the artist’s commitment to respect and community power — In Phoenix, the community is currently fighting to overturn racist voting restrictions and environmental racism.
For González, papel picado, a medium rooted in his Mexican heritage, represents the sentiment that “we are united in struggle through the common thread of our humanity, love and solidarity.” “We don’t live single issue lives. We are complex and we are all invested in the success of all these movements,” said González about this installation.
READ what the artist had to say about his story and what climate justice means to him here. To learn more about Daniel González’s work, check out LCV’s Instagram post or visit his Instagram, Facebook, and website.
5.) Environmental Ads Thank Senators for Confirming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
Following the historic, bipartisan Senate vote of 53-47 confirming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, LCV teamed up with Earthjustice and the Sierra Club on a six-figure digital ad campaign thanking senators for voting for her confirmation.
The ads thank Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
LCV Advocacy Director for Judiciary & Democracy Doug Lindner said, “Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation to the Supreme Court is a major milestone in the fight for a judiciary that looks like America and protects our vital interests, including the rights to clean air and clean water, to vote and to be equal before the law…. As we celebrate Justice Jackson’s confirmation and commend these Senators for voting to confirm her, we urge the Senate to continue swiftly confirming President Biden’s excellent slate of personally and professionally diverse nominees for the many vacancies on the lower federal courts.”
READ LCV’s statement following confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson here.
Related: ICYMI, our sister organization League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and Earthjustice recently ran a digital educational campaign to emphasize the importance of the courts for the environment in Washington, D.C. and across twelve states: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. WATCH the ad, “Judges: Our Planet is in Their Court”, here.