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Thousands Join March to End Fossil Fuels, Demand Biden Declare Climate Emergency & Phase Out Plan

NYC mass mobilization comes ahead of UN Climate Ambition Summit this week

NEW YORK –– Thousands of youth, frontline advocates and climate and community activists joined in the March to End Fossil Fuels in New York City today, making it the largest climate mobilization in the United States since the start of the pandemic.

The March to End Fossil Fuels demands Pres. Biden stop all federal approvals for new fossil fuel projects, phase out production of fossil fuels on public lands and waters, and declare a climate emergency.

Over 700 organizations, led by march organizers at the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Popular Democracy, Climate Organizing Hub, Food & Water Watch, Fridays For Future USA & NYC, Earthworks, Greenfaith, Indigenous Environmental Network, New York Communities for Change, Oil Change International and Oil & Gas Action Network, supported today’s mass action. In addition, over 100 federal elected leaders, actors, and renowned climate activists lent their support to the march. Additionally, 400 scientists and nearly 100 local elected officials in New York, Hawaii, and across the country sent letters to President Biden asking him to end fossil fuel expansion and declare a climate emergency.

The New York March is part of over 600 actions taking place across the world in the Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels. Already, over 500,000 people have joined demonstrations urging world leaders to phase out fossil fuels, including actions in Germany, Kenya, Bangladesh, Peru, the North Pole, and Antarctica.

On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City. In an unprecedented move, Guterres is setting a standard for attending countries to present fossil fuel phaseout plans and commit to no new oil, gas, and coal. The White House said President Biden does not plan to attend the Climate Ambition Summit.

March organizers and global activists met with U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Selwin Hart on Friday to express support for the summit’s Ambition Agenda. Momentum to end fossil fuels continues to build across the United States. On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced that California filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against major oil companies over decades of disinformation and harm that have cost the state billions of dollars. California is by far the largest U.S. entity to file such a case.

The March to End Fossil Fuels and the UN Climate Ambition Summit come on the heels of new reports that show the urgent need to end the use of fossil fuels. The “Planet Wreckers” report from Oil Change International found the United States accounts for more than one-third of planned global oil and gas expansion through 2050. A study released on Friday by Jeremy Symons finds increased exports of oil and gas have undermined the emissions reductions in Pres. Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

Quotes from Organizers and Supporters of the March to End Fossil Fuels below:

Core March Organizers

"It's unbelievable that Biden is sitting on the sidelines when he's got more power than anyone on Earth to end deadly fossil fuels. Cowering in a corner is not a credible climate plan from the world's largest oil and gas producer. It’s time for Biden to declare a climate emergency and phase out the fossil fuels killing people and wildlife around the world,” said Jean Su, Energy Justice Director, Center for Biological Diversity and Board Co-Chair, Climate Action Network International.

“This summer we’ve witnessed and experienced unprecedented climate disasters almost weekly: Record heat waves, increasingly powerful hurricanes and devastated shoreline communities and flash flooding. The climate crisis is inescapable and will affect each and every one of us. But at the center of the crisis are the indigenous communities, communities of color, and working people that will suffer the worst effects of the climate crisis. The window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all is rapidly closing. President Biden, we are asking you to declare a climate emergency — and I don’t mean ‘practically speaking,’” said Analillia Mejia, Co-Executive Director of Center for Popular Democracy.

“This week thousands of us took action and dozens went to jail confronting the banks and financiers whose investments in expanding coal gas and oil poison our water and air. Today tens of thousands of us march to call on President Biden to stand up to the fossil fuel industry so we can all have a future. Ahead of Climate Week, we are sending a big message that this movement is big and we are unstoppable, we won’t let fossil fuel profiteers drive our communities and our planet off a cliff,” said Jonathan Westin, organizer with Climate Defenders and Executive Director of the Climate Organizing Hub.

“Anything short of President Biden declaring a climate emergency is abandoning his pledge for bold climate action and racial justice. Fossil fuels are the leading cause of the climate crisis and inflicting harm on frontline communities as we speak. With Congress at a stalemate, we are out of time and options to stave off a climate catastrophe,” said Ethan Buckner, Senior Manager of Energy Infrastructure at Earthworks.

“Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life are here today to send a simple message to President Biden: Be a leader. Help save this planet. No more fossil fuels. We’re running out of time,” said Emily Wurth, Managing Director of Organizing, Food & Water Watch.

“11,000 casualties from Storm Daniel. Fires that destroyed Lahaina, Maui and Canadian forests. Hurricane Idalia. A Minnesota hailstorm with ping-pong-sized projectiles. In the last two months! The suffering and loss is beyond tragic. No religion sanctions the planet's destruction. But this is exactly what governments, financial institutions and major corporations are doing, often in open collaboration. Fossil fuels are responsible for over 75% of all greenhouse gas emissions. In response, people of faith are calling for an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects. An equitable phaseout of existing production. Universal access to clean energy. Policies to support green jobs training and placement. Loss and damage commitments commensurate to each country's past and present carbon pollution. These priorities are compassionate and just. World

leaders must not delay,” said Nana Firman, Senior Ambassador, GreenFaith.

“If Biden declares a climate emergency, he can choose to finally side with the people—with the low-income people, with the working class people that are suffering the direct impacts of climate change, and not with the profits of fossil fuel companies,” said Lucas Sanchez, Co-Executive Director, New York Communities for Change.

“For decades scientists have warned us about the urgency of phasing out fossil fuels - and the extreme weather events of this year show us how deadly serious the climate crisis is - here and now. This week - thousands of people are taking action in New York to pressure President Biden and Wall Street to end the era of fossil fuels - not one more pipeline approval, not one more drilling permit, not one more dollar to Exxon or Chevron,” said Matt Leonard, Director of Oil and Gas Action Network.

“Thousands of youth marched today to send a clear message to President Biden: we are watching. We are watching you approve pipelines, and we are watching as you delay declaring a climate emergency. We are watching as the Weather Channel repeats the same terrifying message, that this year, this week, this day, is the hottest ever recorded. We are watching our futures disappear, because how can we be the next president or author or scientist on a dying planet? We are watching communities suffer, poisoned by fossil fuel companies that know exactly what they are doing. We are waiting for your leadership, and the leadership of the US on the global stage, to change this, to start acting like this is the emergency you say it is. We, the youth, are watching and waiting and we will not back down on our future, our health, or our communities,” said Noa Greene-Houvras of Fridays for Future NYC.

"Today we marched as a united front, driven by unprecedented heat, alarming droughts, extreme floods, and consequent loss of livelihoods, homes, and people.Those responsible for the destruction have names. It’s fossil fuel companies and their government allies, who choose to expand their business and continue to profit, at our expense. Biden decided not to attend the Climate Ambition Summit next week — and no wonder — showing up would mean his inadequate climate policies and relentless support for fossil fuels would be exposed on the global stage. The US has the largest plans to expand oil and gas extraction in the world, accounting for a third of pollution from new oil and gas extraction. President Biden should be worried about this climate hypocrisy. We showed up today and we will show up tomorrow, and every day after that until we have a just transition to a clean energy future on a thriving planet,” said Allie Rosenbluth, Oil Change International US Program Manager.

New York Supporting Organizations

“As college students, we will continue to experience the worst effects of climate change throughout the rest of our lives. We have spoken with thousands of our classmates here in New York since the fall semester began, and the message is loud and clear: President Biden must declare a climate emergency and end the fossil fuel industry's choke hold on our futures. We can lead the way here in New York with local policies like NYC Local Law 97 and the State-level Climate Change Superfund Act and NY HEAT Act. These policies will reduce climate emissions, save people money, create good, green jobs, and make sure that corporate climate polluters are on the hook to foot the bill," said Damien Andrade, NYPIRG Board of Directors Chairperson and CUNY Brooklyn College student.

Youth Supporting Organizations

“We’re facing more and more destructive impacts from fossil fuel pollution - and it’s only going to get worse. But it doesn’t have to! We can build a future that is free from fossil fuels – a livable future, with clean air and water, good jobs for our families, and a planet where our lands and oceans thrive. And together, as a movement, we are building that future. The climate crisis is escalating, and in response, so is the global movement for climate justice. We are the heroes we’ve been waiting for. Are you in?” said Katharina Maier, National Coordinator, Fridays for Future US.

“Stopping the climate crisis and moving us towards a just transition is the project of our generation. After a summer of record heat, breathing in toxic wildfire smoke, and seeing the thousands of lives lost to climate disasters, we are all the more resolved to get organized and fight for what we need to survive. That’s why this week thousands are coming together to transform our generation’s anger and frustration into a mass movement that will win the livable future we deserve – starting with a demand for President Biden to declare a climate emergency and do everything he can to stop the climate crisis while we still have the chance,” said Aru Shiney-Ajay, National Spokesperson for the Sunrise Movement.

“Young people in New Mexico are rising up to say - we will not sit by and watch our futures melt, burn, and dry up. You can not extinguish our futures without a fight. We deserve and demand better from our leadership. Climate crisis impacts have reached every corner of our state - our forests are burned, our fields are drying up, our water is declining and what's left is being polluted by industry. Our relatives in the Four Corners and Permian are suffering inexcusable health and environmental burdens from the poisons of oil and gas extraction. But we are not helpless. We will not be sacrificed for short-sighted profits. We are marching in NY and organizing every day back home to hold our government accountable for a swift and comprehensive just transition and an end to the fossil-fuel era. Our time has come,” said Jonathan Juárez, Media Justice Organizer with Youth United for Climate Crisis Action

National Supporting Organizations

“NAACP members are traveling from states across the country to make clear that Black and other frontline communities cannot be sacrifice zones for the fossil fuel industry any longer. Our youth and college division, local branch, and state conference leadership have continued to advocate against futures that shorten life expectancies for Black communities due to environmental racism. We are marching together to say that an over-reliance on fossil fuels cannot continue. The NAACP has a long history of fighting against environmental injustice. We will continue to advocate that the fossil fuel industry must be held accountable for their role in creating environmental and health hazards in Black and other communities of color,” said Abre’ Conner, Director, Center for Environment and Climate Justice, NAACP.

Frontline Supporting Organizations

"We are coming together during Climate Week to show the Biden Administration and Sen. Joe Manchin that we can't afford one more second of fossil fuels and stop greenlighting pipelines like the Mountain Valley Pipeline. These pervasive pipelines are exposing humans, animals, and the natural world to toxic chemicals in fossil fuels, damaging critical cultural sites in my ancestral homelands, and current ongoing intimidation in my communities,” said Dr. Crystal Cavalier-Keck, CEO/Co-Founder of 7 Directions of Service, Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation.

“Joe Biden, I'm disappointed in you. My life matters more than your money. I'm too young to die for corporate greed," said Danger Winslow (8 years old), 7 Directions of Service.

“We are in New York to face insurance companies and financiers of methane gas at their headquarters, to stop life-threatening gas expansion in my community. From the local explosion and fire of Freeport LNG and their high-risk operation to tens of thousands lost to floods in Libya — we are facing a global crisis of incorporable scale caused by the oil and gas industry. We are filling the streets, in the largest financial district in the world because enough is enough- we are fighting back as these insurers banks and asset managers materially support the oil and gas industry,” said Melanie Oldham, Better Brazoria Clean Air and Clean Water.

“530 years ago our native lands were invaded to take resources; 530 years later still taking resources it is time to hold these immigrants accountable for the genocide they conspire with the Governments of the lands across the ocean,” said Juan Mancias Tribal, Chairman, Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas (Esto’k Gna).

“When I march through the streets of New York City, I'm marching for more than just the devastated communities in Southwest Louisiana. I'm marching in solidarity with every community that has been ripped apart by environmental degradation, by climate chaos, by corporate malfeasance, and by governmental inaction. The threat we face—a proposed expansion of over two dozen LNG gas export terminals along the Gulf Coast—signals an ongoing and unacceptable pattern of exploitation and environmental injustice. President Biden, if you genuinely wish to be the 'Climate President' and uphold the principles of 'We the People,' then your policies and agencies must radically shift to prioritize the real Public Interest Determination: long-term health and well-being of every person and every community, and not corporate profits that steal a bright future from our children,” said James Hiatt, Founder and Executive Director, For a Better Bayou.

“As a young person of color growing up in a coastal frontline community, I’ve seen the impacts of fossil fuel activities in our region. Behind the facade of promised jobs is a tragic story of the degradation of habitats, the loss of life within families due to cancer, and the increased occurrence of extreme weather events all due to the burning of fossil fuels. We deserve better than this. The Biden administration must declare a climate emergency to intervene, the alternative being the continued disproportionate impacts on communities of color,” said Armon Alex, Gulf of Mexico Youth Climate Summit.

“I advocate for vulnerable, Frontline communities in Cancer Alley. Louisiana’s addiction to fossil fuels and oil and gas is causing the death of many people in Louisiana, including around the world. It is time that the poisoning is stopped,” said Rev. Gregory Manning, Greater New Orleans Interfaith Climate Coalition.

“The climate crisis is the most heartbreaking issue that we see today. It is destroying the future of sustainability for our future grandchildren. Not only are the pipeline & oil industries depleting our life source, they are precipitating violence against “Our First Environment.” Our life-givers are facing high rates of gender-based violence from non-indigenous perpetrators working in temporary man camps. We must protect our mother Earth. This is just not an Indigenous issue; it is an everyone issue. Money does not water the food that feeds our community. Money does not water the corn that we hold in our palms for prayer. Our Mother Earth is perishing before our eyes. New Mexico has a plethora of renewable resources that are being ignored. Decision-makers must stop fossil fuel production immediately. New Mexico has a plethora of renewable resources that are being ignored,” said Celina Montoya-Garcia (Ohkay Owingeh), Land & Body Violence Coordinator with Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.

“The Texas Permian Basin oil and gas shale is the world’s #1 source of greenhouse gas emissions. It is a climate bomb. I have witnessed this destruction directly on the ground in West Texas. Methane is dumped into the atmosphere, workers are injured by the extraction process, and water is contaminated for future generations. The only solution is to stop all new drilling and invest in green jobs. Biden must step up and declare a climate emergency,” said Miguel Escoto, Oilfield Witness.

“The Inflation Reduction Act has plagued Louisiana with threats of dangerous, unproven, not-tested projects that are called Carbon Capture projects, different colors of ammonia plants, LNG projects, and different colors of hydrogen plants. Our wetlands in Louisiana are already swamped with so many non-compliance chemical plants. My hometown of Donaldsonville, and the parish I reside in, for example, will have most of these projects. They’ve called Baton Rouge to New Orleans Cancer Alley since the 80s. Now it spread like Cancer as the whole entire South Louisiana is now Cancer Alley. Many Gulf states share the same fate. And the plants in Louisiana don't pay taxes, don't hire most of their workers locally, have our schools and other public places heavily underfunded, done damage to our roads, bridges, and such. I think this March is the perfect stage for our voices to be heard,” said Travis London, Louisiana Gulf South For A Green New Deal.

“Ten years ago, we did not know where and which way we were going to go. Today, we are joining the March to stand with people and make our voices heard. Because our Navajo communities have been greatly impacted by fossil fuel extraction. It needs to stop,” said Samuel Sage, Board President, Diné C.A.R.E.

“I came to NY from Southwest Louisiana to be in solidarity with other communities fractured by environmental degradation and corporate irresponsibility. We cannot afford more fossil fuel dependency, like the 2 dozen methane (LNG) export terminals planned in the Gulf South. President Biden, if you wish to be the “Climate President” then stop stealing our children’s future for a profit centered build-out. Prioritize the real public Interest: the health and wellbeing of every person and community, and their right to clean air, water and land,” said James Hiatt, Director, For A Better Bayou.

“New Mexico has been ground zero for Amerikkka's climate crisis for over a century and we must bring an end to fueling these energy addicted fiends. Indigenous earth-based knowledge is the essence of our existence for millenia and is the solution to climate change. We can not continue to support corporate politicians and corrupt systems. Fossil Fuels + Man Camps = MMIWR (missing and murdered Indigenous relatives) cases! Stop the Murder of Mother Earth and Indigenous Relatives! Stop Fossil Fuels NOW! No more extractive war crimes! No more Energy War Pigs!” said Krystal Curley, Executive Director, Indigenous Lifeways.

“Nowhere is the harmful impact of fossil fuels more evident than through DAPL, which continues to illegally funnel 750,000 barrels of crude oil through Standing Rock Sioux tribal land every day. Shutting down all pipelines is critical to addressing the greatest injustices faced by Indigenous people – from our water being poisoned, to our women and two spirit relatives being murdered and disappeared by the underbelly of the temporary fossil fuel industry workforce. We will not rest until all fossil fuels have been replaced by sustainable solutions implemented by Indigenous communities,” said Nick Tilsen, President and CEO, NDN Collective.

“Frontline communities across Appalachia like mine have been sacrificed far too long by those who say they are doing us a favor. People like Senator Joe Manchin only have their own interest and the interest of their fossil fuel puppet masters at heart. Together with people and communities from Appalachia, to Alaska, to the Gulf Coast and across the globe we will defeat projects that harm us and our environment. Projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline that is currently steam rolling across my beloved, ancestral organic farm and pristine mountain area,” said Maury Johnson, VP Impacted Landowner and WV Co-Chair of the Protect Our Water Heritage and Right Coalition (POWHR Coalition).

“I am 75 years old and a fourth generation fisherwoman from Texas Gulf Coast. I am here because I want to have my voice added to the thousands of others on this March to end the Fossil Fuel Era,” said Diane Wilson, Executive Director, San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper.

“Fossil fuels have created so much destruction in Navajo communities. We are feeling the impacts of climate change every day. We are marching to stand up for the generations to come, for our rights to clean air, land, water, and to practice our lifeways,” said Hazel James, Coordinator, San Juan Collaborative for Health Equity.

"Greed vs. Love–which side are you on President Biden? Any future for everyone is being stolen by the few's passion for profit. We the people march today in solidarity for those losing everything to floods, for the animals losing their lives and homes to wildfires, and in partnership with our planet home. End fossil fuels now," said Janet MacGillivray, Founder, Executive Director, Climate Director, Seeding Sovereignty.

“Louisiana is more than 80% rural, but we have the largest cancer rates in the world due to the high amount of petrochemical plants. Our state is plagued by cancer alley, which is impacting even our children, who deserve to grow up in a healthy, safe environment. During Hurricane Katrina, we all saw in real time how the citizens of New Orleans were treated as third class citizens. They were not able to be evacuated in a timely manner. Within the last month, Louisiana had 60,000 acres burned due to wildfire, which we’ve never had. Every citizen in our country should have the right to live. President Biden, the citizens of Louisiana are encouraging you to take action,” said Corhonda Corley, Step Up Louisiana C4 Board.

“Fossil Fuel is an issue we fight constantly in our community and the region. There is a landfill burning methane each night less than one mile from residents. Banks need to stop funding fossil fuels, and we need to continue educating our community on the dangers of fossil fuels and the need to go to Banks to tell them to quit doing business with the polluting industries,” said Marsha Jackson, Southern Sector Rising.

“Texas is the number 1 state for drilling and exporting of oil and gas. Texans across the state are harmed every day by the pollution from drilling, transporting, refining and exporting fossil fuels. To end fossil fuels and achieve climate justice, the injustices in Texas needs to be righted,” said Robin Schneider Executive Director, Texas Campaign for the Environment.

“I am a mother of 4, a veteran of the US. And protector of treaty rights, land, and water. I come here on behalf of the Hunkpati Dakota and the great Sioux Nation.I am here to tell the world we do not want a CO2 pipeline going through our Dakota Lands, and we want the uranium drilling to stop in our sacred Black Hills. We as the direct descendants of those hanged and massacred in Minnesota that we are here to protect our great lakes for Embridge. No more mine 3 & 5. No to the Dakota pipeline Access. No more rerouting. We want it shut down. We want to make a new treaty with the United States,” said Ta Pejuta Wichacpi win, her star Medicine Woman, Erica Crazy Hawk, The Indigenous Earth Protectors.

“President Biden, with every new approval you’re killing our children. Enough is enough. With every step I take, I am igniting a fire within others, inspiring them to rise alongside me and make an indelible mark on this world. Through the sheer force of my determination and the power of my voice, I am fearlessly shaping a better tomorrow for my children and generations yet to come. Our children deserve to live. Fossil fuels will not win. President Biden, you have a decision to make, join us or we will vote for someone who will,” said Roishetta Sibley Ozane Founder and Director, The Vessel Project of Louisiana.

International Supporting Organizations

"The Amazon rainforest–ancestral home to hundreds of Indigenous peoples for time immemorial–is an unparalleled natural wonder and regulator of the global climate. Multinational and state-owned oil companies continue to despoil biodiversity hot-spots in the Amazon with financing from the world's largest banks and investment firms. As a crucial part of a truly just transition, banks and investors must cease financial support for Amazonian crude and the oil companies must desist in their efforts to expand further into the rainforest," said Andrew Miller, Advocacy Director for Amazon Watch.

“We traveled to Climate Week from the Amazon Rainforest, alive with the spirits of people, animals, trees and rivers. The Amazon is a living being, conscious and subject to the protection of its own rights. Indigenous peoples, as the guardians of life, call for the exclusion of all kinds of extractive industries in the Amazon and that oil be left underground. Our vision of the Living Forest is a transformative proposal for coexistence and a solution to the climate challenge,” said Samai Gualinga, Vice-President of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku, Ecuadorian Amazon.

"July 2023 was the hottest month in recorded climate history. The unparalleled, deadly climate disasters sweeping the world seem to leave polluters unfazed. Historical emitters like Norway, Canada, Australia, the UK and the USA are announcing new fossil fuel projects even as floods, fires and heatwaves take over our lives. We take inspiration from recent victories in the Yasuni region with the referendum to stop oil drilling. When we the people use our collective power we can win. Let our resistance against fossil fuels as we take to the streets send a loud message to the fossil fuel industry and their supporters that their time is up," said Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network International.

“This weekend hundreds of thousands of us have been taking to the streets around the world to call on governments to finally take the necessary political measures to #EndFossilFuels #FastFairForever. Our demands reflect both the science and the historical claims of Indigenous Peoples and frontline communities, who have faced the deadly consequences of oil, gas and coal production for decades. World leaders are about to arrive in New York, and thanks to the leadership of Pacific Island countries like Tuvalu and Vanuatu fossil fuels will be firmly on the official agenda. Their discussions must demonstrate their willingness to cooperate on a just energy transition that puts an end to our fossil fuel addiction in a progressive, equitable and definitive way. We are not asking them to invent solutions, we have them. We are building the political space for the conversation the world needs to have - how do we work together to stop the fossil fuel industry and build something better. That means supporting the growing call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty,” said Alex Rafalowizc, Director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative.

"Our communities, ecosystems, and futures are not bargaining chips for further concessions to the fossil fuel industry. Every day communities globally are experiencing the devastation of climate chaos through massive floods, fires and droughts due to fossil fuel expansion, yet governments continue to delay the serious action necessary for protecting people and planet. The U.S. has a historic responsibility to take lead on ending the era of fossil fuels. Our people’s movements will not give up on a thriving and healthy future for all generations, and that means ending the tyranny of the fossil fuel industry in the U.S. and globally and immediately implementing a just transition,” said Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director at the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN).


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