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Bernie Sanders and AOC mull a "climate emergency"

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (2nd R), Democrat of New York, speaks alongside US Senator Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are floating a nonbinding resolution Tuesday to declare a "climate emergency" that demands a sweeping mobilization in response.

Why it matters: They're two of the highest-profile figures on the left. The resolution is also the first written product on climate that anyone has seen from White House hopeful Sanders in a while.

The intrigue: The resolution, like the Green New Deal, steers clear of policy specifics — something in short supply from Sanders thus far during his presidential run.

  • The Sanders campaign, unlike several key rivals, hasn't yet released a detailed platform.
  • And he hasn't yet unveiled the detailed climate legislation that his Senate office has been working on (though he's authored numerous bills in years past).

The big picture: The resolution offers a series of statements on the state of global warming — noting for instance that the last 4 years are the 4 hottest on record — and science on existing and anticipated harms.

  • It says global warming "demands a national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization of the resources and labor of the United States at a massive-scale to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of the climate emergency and to restore the climate for future generations."
  • It also says the economic, social and health benefits of said mobilization "far outweigh the costs of inaction."

What's next: Sanders, AOC and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democratic and co-sponsor of the resolution, are holding a press call about it at midday.

Read the resolution:

Go deeper: AOC calls for $10 trillion to address climate crisis