This past weekend, Sept 15-17 — over 75,000 people marched in New York City, calling on President Biden to stop approving fossil fuel projects, phase down oil and gas drilling, declare a climate emergency, and provide a just and equitable transition off fossil fuels. This was the biggest mass mobilization of people calling for climate action since Biden took office.

We — Dineen and Eloise— we’re glad to join the contingent of over 1000 people from 350 groups around the country who showed up in NYC. We could feel the sheer power of us all coming together as part of the 350 community and the broader climate movement.

Climate actions in New York City Sept 16-18, 2023. Top left and right photos by Miasarah Lai, Bottom left and right photos by Mel Smith,

Sometimes this work can feel hopeless and isolating, especially as we are just trying to survive heat waves, wildfires, and climate disasters already on our doorstep. But actions like these are a reminder that we are not alone. We are powerful, and a force to be reckoned with. We refuse to let the fossil fuel industry continue to sacrifice frontline communities, poison our water and air just to turn a profit. We refuse to let Biden ignore us and continue propping up corporations and false solutions instead of listening to the people he is supposed to represent.

While the march in NYC was the biggest of the weekend with over 75k people, that was one of over 700 other #EndFossilFuels actions in 65 countries, with 600,000 people taking action world-wide.

Why was this climate march in NYC, and why are we calling on Biden?

On Sept 17-18, the United Nations held an “invite only” Climate Ambition Summit in NYC. For the first time ever, the UN called for countries to stop the expansion of fossil fuels and phase out by 2050, and denied them a ticket to the summit if they failed to commit to these goals. The US didn’t earn a ticket (neither did the UK, Australia, Norway, and Japan, and many other G20 countries).

The world is watching Biden and calling for the biggest polluting countries, including the US, to step up on their climate goals. We, the people, are watching Biden too, and we’re at a breaking point. So far Biden has broken his climate promises, approving projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, despite their devastating impact to BIPOC and other marginalized communities.

But it’s not too late. We need Biden to take all the energy and resources that have gone into propping up fossil fuels — a dying industry — and put that behind a transition to renewable energy that’s by and for the people. We need him to follow communities on the frontlines of climate change, racism, houselessness and displacement, colonialism, and all systems of oppression. We need Biden to declare a climate emergency and end the era of fossil fuels.

Thanks for marching for the climate here in Oregon!

Thank you to all who joined the youth-led climate action last Friday, Sept 15, when thousands marched in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Florence, and Bend.

Here in Portland, we called on Governor Kotek to declare a climate emergency, for Portland City Councilors to rescind a land-use permit they had granted in a backroom deal with Zenith Energy, for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to regulate the Critical Energy Infrastructure (CEI) Hub, and for Oregon Treasury to shift its holdings from risky fossil fuels to climate-safe investments — all while uplifting nationwide demands to Biden.

Climate actions in New York City Sept 16-18, 2023. Top left and right photos by Miasarah Lai, Bottom left and right photos by Mel Smith,

What’s next?

Biden’s recent decision to bar oil drilling in Alaska was a big step in the right direction, and is a testament to the leadership of local Indigenous groups and millions of people calling for an end to Alaska oil drilling. Through that decision, Biden showed that he can stop fossil fuel projects if he wants to. Now we just need him to stop all new fossil fuel projects — including the Willow Project, Alaska LNG, and the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

At 350PDX, we will continue to support the national movement to #EndtheEra of fossil fuels as part of the People vs. Fossil Fuels and other coalition spaces. And we will continue to fight locally for clean air and water and a healthy climate.

Stay tuned for more local actions to Stop Zenith’s oil by rail, fight GTN XPress, and more. Together, we’ll keep building people power to take back our collective future.

Let’s do this,

Dineen O’Rourke (350PDX Campaign Manager) and Eloise Navarro (350PDX National Fossil Fuels Organizer)