USA: City of Oakland declares a climate emergency

On 30 October 2018, the City of Oakland in California passed a “Resolution Endorsing the Declaration of a Climate Emergency and Requesting Regional Collaboration on an Immediate Just Transition and Emergency Mobilization Effort to Restore a Safe Climate.”

Oakland follows in the footsteps of Berkeley and Richmond, becoming the third California city to declare a climate emergency and launch an emergency-speed mobilisation.

The Oakland City Council voted unanimously to pass the resolution, marking a growing movement of cities treating global warming like the emergency it is. This means that the city will:

● Rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and seek to reach zero net emissions at emergency speed

● Create plans to protect residents, especially frontline communities, from worsening climate disasters, and

● Work with local cities, counties and public agencies around the San Francisco Bay Area to bring them into a rapid Just Transition mobilisation as well.

Oakland’s Resolution combines the need to stop climate change in its tracks with a commitment to social justice, calling for a rapid Just Transition from an extractive, destructive and racist economy towards equitable, regenerative and local living economies that uphold human rights and the Earth’s life support systems.

» See the resolution on

American cities gearing up
The City of Los Angeles is also gearing up for an equitable emergency response to global warming as it considers a motion from LA Council member Paul Koretz to create a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department.

Hoboken, New Jersey and Montgomery County, Maryland have also passed similar Climate Emergency Declarations.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. In this time we must go both fast and far, together. Our movement for a rapid Just Transition mobilization must be coordinated, strategic and unified, with leadership from the most-impacted frontline communities who are at the forefront of change.”
~ Colin Cook-Miller, Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC) Coordinator

Letter of support
42 local and national organisations and coalitions in the United States have signed on to the OCAC’s letter of support calling on Oakland Council members to pass the ‘Climate Emergency Declaration & Just Transition Resolution’ without delay.

Notable signatory organisations include Asian Pacific Environmental Network, The East Oakland Collective, The Village, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, West Side Missionary Baptist Church, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, AYPAL Building API Community Power, Kehilla Community Synagogue, California Interfaith Power & Light, 350 East Bay, Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter, Youth vs Apocalypse, Clean Water Action, Sunrise Bay Area, SustainUS, No Coal in Oakland and the Anti Police-Terror Project.

About Oakland’s climate coalition
Started in 2009, the OCAC is a cross-sector coalition dedicated to racial and economic justice in leading Oakland’s response to climate change. The OCAC engages Oakland’s frontline residents to create and implement climate solutions that strengthen communities’ health, wealth and resilience. The OCAC’s coalition membership consists of over three dozen organisations, including social and environmental justice, environmental, green business and labor groups.


About The Climate Mobilization
The Climate Mobilization is a national American organisation devoted to launching “an emergency mobilisation to restore a safe climate”. They ask institutions and communities to respond to climate change and ecological destruction as an emergency, demanding the only response that makes sense: a massive, just mobilisation to protect humanity and the natural world.


» Common Dreams – 31 October 2018:
Oakland Declares Climate Emergency
“As UN warns time is running out, Oakland becomes fourth California city working to kick off a Emergency Climate Mobilization.”