The motion has been put forward on June 10th, for the purpose of "making sure that the actions we're taking today are doing enough to prepare and protect us from the impact of climate change in the future."
Councillor Steve Roddick's motion to declare a climate change state of emergency will be discussed on June 17th, 2019.
The motion has been put forward on June 10th, for the purpose of "making sure that the actions we're taking today are doing enough to prepare and protect us from the impact of climate change in the future." Steve Roddick
The motion includes steps to establish a task force focused solely on climate change adaptation and implementation of existing climate change plans. Roddick has also laid out a carbon budget that would show the carbon emissions of each capital line item and it's carbon emission impact in regards to the cities' existing carbon emission reducing plans.
In an interview, Roddick said "I've designed the motion to allow for a lot of flexibility for council and administration to identify the actions that will make the most sense for us to pursue in line with our strategic priorities that we've identified. So when it comes to things like: emergency preparedness, asset management, and our new building consolidation plan, we can figure out how to make sure that climate change is fully considered as we move forward"
Similar motions are being put forward in communities across the country. Last month the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation became the first in the Yukon to declare a climate change emergency. Roddick said his declaration shows solidarity with the other communities putting forward these motions. "For me, the declaration of emergency is important in terms of showing solidarity with other governments, particularly other First Nation governments and other municipal governments who have declared climate change emergencies in their towns, cities, and localities to address climate change."
"I want people to know that this is about recognizing that climate change affects our services and infrastructure, and that business as usual is not going to deal with this threat as well as we need to" Steve Roddick
Roddick also drew attention to the future of the city, and future generations. He says he wants people to understand that without change, the issue will only worsen.
Roddick said that declaring the emergency now is a preemptive measure, "Doing more to protect our citizens from climate change impacts will hopefully avoid sticking future generations with the bill because I feel like this is an inter-generational issue. We're feeling these impacts now, but it's only going to get worse. We owe it to our future citizens to do more now"
The official vote on the motion will take place on June 24th, 2019.