New York City became the most recent, and largest, city to declare a climate emergency in late June, calling for “an immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate.”
Joining the likes of London and Sydney, New York City is one of 722 localities in 15 countries to have declared such an emergency, according to nonprofit group The Climate Mobilization.
The declarations are an attempt to build political pressure and encourage legislators to take stronger actions to curb climate change, co-founder Margaret Klein Salamon told the New York Times.
“Because what are elected leaders supposed to do if not protect us from emergencies?” she said.
Though the declarations alone don’t have any power alone, activists hope they will encourage the public and lawmakers to act and address climate change.