Vancouver city councillors have voted to join cities such as Los Angeles and London in declaring a climate emergency.
The city clerk’s office says in a social media post that councillors voted unanimously to approve the motion.
Councillor Christine Boyle, who moved the resolution, says staff now have the mandate to “dramatically strengthen” Vancouver’s climate action plan.
She says that could include new methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the city’s current climate targets and creating a special working group to support Vancouver’s efforts to transition off of fossil fuels.
The resolution also calls for a framework to ensure communities most vulnerable to the impact of the changes are supported first.
Boyle says climate change is already affecting Vancouver residents and addressing the emergency won’t be easy.
“We are a smart city, capable of doing difficult things,” Boyle says in a news release.
“We need to respond to this crisis urgently and compassionately with path towards a more equitable society.”
Vancouver’s carbon pollution levels are seven per cent below 2007 levels, representing an average reduction of less than one per cent per year over the past decade. An average annual reduction of over three per cent is necessary to meet the city’s 2030 targets, the release says.
The Canadian Press