Yesterday the Obama Administration took its largest step yet to curb dangerous carbon pollution and act on climate change. We acknowledge the President's action as a critical first step, but the Clean Power Plan is far from sufficient. The basic reality is simple: To avoid catastrophic climate impacts, we must limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius and keep over 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
The Clean Power Plan needs more ambition, particularly in its 2030 goals. SustainUS Co-Chair Matt Maiorana said: "The Administration's Climate Action Plan claims the U.S. will 'lead international efforts to combat global climate change and prepare for its impacts,' but these weak 2030 targets fall far short of what the science says is necessary. We need real aggressive action to catalyze meaningful contributions and an acceptable outcome at COP 21."
The U.S. must show leadership by working with China, India, the European Union, and other countries to forge a bold and ambitious global agreement in 2015. This agreement should stabilize the climate and ensure a just transition for all countries, especially those most vulnerable to climate disasters.
Real action demands an energy sector with 100% decarbonized power by 2030, not policy that incentivizes shifting from coal to natural gas. SustainUS Co-Chair Leslye Penticoff stated: "We oppose the President's misleading 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, which in reality prioritizes fossil fuel extraction and export over meaningful investment in alternative energy. For President Obama to secure a strong climate legacy, much more action is needed to reduce fossil fuel subsidies and expand renewable energy capacity. We will continue building a powerful movement for climate justice until our future on this planet is secure."
SustainUS is pleased to recognize the recent appointment of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the UN Special Envoy for Climate and Cities. We appreciate and support the United Nations’ continuing recognition of the importance of urban spaces in the fight against climate change. With over 50% of the world’s population living in cities and that number rising every day, urban policy offers an important and effective way to address issues of sustainability, development, resilience, and social justice.
We're launching a new initiative called Climate Action Lab to incubate youth-driven campaigns that push for ambitious domestic action on climate change. We’ll take groups of 8 to 10 committed young activists, put them together in a house (with expenses covered!) for three months, and help them run campaigns pushing for tangible policy change on climate. Climate Action Lab will be inaugurated with one house this spring, followed by a national expansion this summer.
Right now, we’re looking for skilled young organizers to form the inaugural class of Climate Action Lab Fellows this spring in Washington, DC. These Fellows will live together in a group climate activist house from March 3rd - May 25th and run a campaign focused on securing ambitious EPA carbon standards. Fellows will engage in direct action, media work, lobbying, canvassing, grassroots organizing, and a variety of other tactics. In addition, the Spring Fellows will help develop the full Climate Action Lab model for summer expansion.
SustainUS is recruiting Spring Fellows for a new national initiative, Climate Action Lab. The idea is simple: get a bunch of smart climate activists together and let them take it from there. You’ll live in DC in a house with other activists, campaign for strong EPA carbon standards, and prepare Climate Action Lab for nationwide expansion. SustainUS is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive team, and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and experiences.