Two municipalities have voted to declare the potential effects of future climate change as an emergency.
The West Vancouver city council and the District of North Vancouver city council both passed separate motions to declare a climate emergency.
In North Vancouver, Councillor Megan Curren recommended that the district declare a “climate and ecological emergency.”
In addition, she writes that staff should incorporate more urgent action and protection initiatives into future financial planning. This includes establishing an annual carbon budget for corporate and community carbon pollution, as well as making a full commitment to meeting the district’s carbon pollution targets.
Councillor Megan Curren also suggested that a “North Shore Climate and Biodiversity Committee” be formed.
“Despite decades of conclusive scientific data which directly linked the burning of fossil fuels with global warming, all levels of government have failed to take decisive climate action,” she writes in her report. “These delays have led to the climate emergency we face today. Without transformative climate police action and system change, carbon pollution will continue to increase over time.”
In West Vancouver, the motion, submitted in early June, came from Councillor Craig Cameron and Councillor Nora Gambioli.
“Emissions reduction targets are not being met at the national, provincial, or local level in Canada,” reads the report. “Canadians have some of the highest per capita emissions worldwide.”
The motion continues to state that West Vancouver already faces “significant costs” from dealing with the impacts of climate change, namely rising sea levels, stormwater management, and forest fires.
In addition to declaring a climate emergency, the motion also includes evaluating current actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as looking at what similar municipalities are doing to address the problem.
Both councils saw their respective motions approved.
They now join over 600 jurisdictions worldwide that have declared a climate emergency, including the City of Vancouver, the City of Ottawa, the House of Commons of Canada, and the Irish Government, among others.