April 22, 2021

On Earth Day, 350 US sends clear message to Biden administration as climate summit unfolds


Glasgow, NYC, DC “Climate Clocks” send message to Biden, world governments on Earth Day: #ActInTime!

Climate Clock light projection launches in Glasgow as youth climate activists deliver portable clocks, 300,000 petition signatures to top Biden officials demanding real climate action 


USA — As President Joe Biden’s ‘Leaders Summit on Climate’ unfolds today, April 22, through tomorrow, Friday, April 23, communities around the world are escalating the demand for immediate and more ambitious climate action. This week’s events are a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

Commitments from the Biden administration, including reports of a 50% reduction of emissions at 2005 levels by 2030, fall short of the United States’s fair share of global climate action. Top officials from the Biden administration, including Gina McCarthy, met with oil and gas executives last month, yet failed to meet with Black, Indigenous, and frontline leaders of color who are most impacted, and who must be centered in real climate solutions.

“On Day 1 in office, Biden cancelled Keystone XL. Now he must follow-through on his promises and do the same with Line 3, the Dakota Access pipeline, and all new fossil fuel projects. A 50% emissions reduction falls short of the United States’ fair share, and should be seen as the floor, not the ceiling. Ambitious climate action requires keeping all fossil fuels in the ground,” said Natalie Mebane, Policy Director of 350.org. “Biden must show the world that the U.S. is serious about tackling the climate crisis at scale, centering communities most impacted, and creating millions of good, green jobs in the process.

Biden must go beyond promises, and take immediate action to stop the bad, build the good, and repair harm. This includes drastically increasing emission reduction targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by doing what science and justice demand:

  1. Stop approving all new fossil fuel projects and shut down Line 3, Dakota Access, and all fossil fuel projects that violate Indigenous sovereignty, pollute and poison communities, drive up emissions and fuel the climate crisis.
  2. Stop funding the problem. The US government must cut off the flow of funding to fossil fuels from all institutions and invest in job creation, renewable energy, sustainable infrastructure, and support the frontline communities that are hardest hit by climate change.
  3. Declare a climate emergency to lead a clean energy revolution, invest in historically marginalized communities, and create millions of good union jobs.

Yesterday, a global petition with over 300,000 signatures, was delivered to the Biden administration, underscoring that to Build Back Better, we must #BuildBackFossilFree.

As part of the day of actions leading up to the Summit, youth strikers, climate impacted communities, and climate and environmental justice activists with 350.org, the Build Back Fossil Free coalition, Fossil Free Bailout, and more delivered the Climate Clock to the Biden administration. The climate clock, which has been on display in New York, Union Square is a reminder of the urgent need to take immediate climate action at scale.

“By using the Climate Clock as a tool, we are pressuring world governments to take bold action for a just recovery from the compound crisis our communities are facing from COVID-19, climate impacts, and racial and economic injustice” said Thanu Yakupitiyage, 350.org US Communications Director. “President Biden It’s time for Biden to be a real Climate President, show the world that the U.S. is serious about keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and lead by example on the world stage.  Biden needs to go beyond promises and take immediate action to stop the bad, build the good, and repair the harm.”

Glasgow City Council and UK youth climate activists light-projected a CLIMATE CLOCK onto Glasgow’s landmark Tolbooth Steeple. Like its counterpart in Union Square, New York, the Glasgow CLIMATE CLOCK will count down the time until the threshold of carbon emissions for 1.5 degrees of warming is exceeded, and show the percentage of the world’s energy that is generated from renewable sources. It will run continuously every night for the six months from Earth Day until the COP26 begins, turning the eyes of the world to the upcoming UN Summit in November.

“There can be no meaningful climate action if world leaders don’t make a decisive move to keep all fossil fuels in the ground. The Biden Summit is a critical meeting of world leaders ahead of COP26 this November. Talk of “net-zero” won’t cut it: we demand more from our world leaders than false promises, false solutions and empty negotiations at Biden’s Climate Summit,” added Agnes Hall, Global Campaigns Director at 350.org. “The task now is to hold politicians to their lofty words,  and to do that the global climate movement needs to keep up the pressure on our governments at home as well as on the international stage to take urgent action now to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a Just Recovery by creating a sustainable, fossil-free world.



Climate Clock 

The Lifeline and Deadline on the CLIMATE CLOCK tell us what we need to do, by when. There is still time to avert climate disaster, but only if we take bold, immediate action at the speed and scale necessary – beyond what politicians have deemed politically possible. The Climate Emergency is here. The next 7 years is humanity’s best window to enact bold, transformational changes in our global economy to avoid raising global temperature above 1.5ºC, a point of no return that science tells us will make the worst climate impacts likely inevitable. The DEADLINE on the clock alerts us to the critical time window we have left to take the most meaningful action to limit global warming. The new LIFELINE on the clock shows the percent of global energy coming from renewable sources – wind, water, solar, and bioenergy. The Renewable Energy Lifeline is currently at 12.2% and rising. However, it is not rising nearly fast enough to meet our deadline. The science behind the clock.

History of Tolbooth Steeple

The Tolbooth Steeple was designed in 1625 by John Boyd and constructed in 1626/27, the steeple forms a focal point for the city. It was here that important proclamations were read out to the people of Glasgow, a vital means of communication during a time when literacy rates were very low. For those who could read, a reading room provided access to newspapers. And as the terminus for stagecoaches from Edinburgh and London, this is where visitors brought news to Glasgow from elsewhere across the realm.

The Tolbooth Steeple is an iconic Glasgow structure, which for hundreds of years has formed an important landmark in the city, a point of convergence, communication and information. It both tells, and has stood the test of, time. It is a relic of our pre-industrial past and bore witness to the entire industrial revolution from the heart of one of the cities at its forefront.

As Glasgow prepares to host COP26, the Tolbooth Steeple is the perfect location for a climate clock. It harks back to the Steeple’s original function as a location for mass communication; it stands at the convergence point where people from all points on the compass entered the city; and it is unmistakably Glasgow.