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Environmental Activists Criticize Biden for Not Formally Declaring Climate Emergency

President Biden’s recent statement that he had “practically” declared a national emergency on the climate crisis has sparked criticism from environmental activists who argue that he should take the formal steps necessary to unlock greater power for his administration to combat climate change. Biden’s comments during an interview with The Weather Channel led to backlash from climate activists who were expecting a more concrete declaration from the administration.

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Kassie Siegel, the director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, expressed her dissatisfaction, stating, “Practically speaking, Biden has devastated communities and wildlife by backing disastrous carbon bombs from Alaska to Appalachia.”

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Credit: DepositPhotos

The issue at hand is that while Biden claimed to have taken significant steps towards treating climate change as an emergency, he has not officially declared a climate emergency. This declaration would grant the president enhanced authority to expedite the energy transition and block fossil fuel projects without requiring congressional approval.

Environmental advocates are perplexed by Biden’s statement, as they feel that a formal declaration of a climate emergency is crucial to effectively address the pressing issue of climate change. Varshini Prakash, the executive director of the climate advocacy group Sunrise Movement, emphasized the importance of a genuine declaration rather than just a statement made for television cameras.

Despite the criticism, Biden highlighted his administration’s efforts to address climate change during the interview, mentioning the signing of a significant climate bill and his commitment to conservation and clean energy investments. The White House responded to the criticism by stating that Biden has consistently treated climate change as an emergency, citing various actions and policies undertaken to combat the climate crisis.

As the debate continues, the discrepancy between Biden’s statement and the actual declaration of a climate emergency raises questions about the administration’s commitment to addressing environmental concerns and its approach to using emergency powers to combat climate change.

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