Release: Residents celebrate as Surrey declares a climate emergency

On Monday, November 4th Surrey residents celebrated as Council declared a climate emergency and directed staff to review the city's climate targets in the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming.

We are glad that the City of Surrey has recognized the seriousness of the climate crisis we are facing,” declared Allison Richardson, co-founder of Surrey for Future. “And with more than seventy people here in support tonight, it’s clear that the Surrey community is passionate about the City’s efforts to increase the ambition of its emission targets and take strong action on the climate crisis.”By declaring a climate emergency, Surrey Councillors have clearly stated their intention to tackle the climate crisis. The direction that staff review Surrey’s climate targets, which currently aim for an 80% reduction of emissions by 2050, in the context of the latest scientific evidence from the IPCC, which calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 45% below 2010 levels by 2030, 65% by 2040 and net-zero emissions by 2050, centres meaningful action in Surrey’s climate emergency declaration.

“Tonight’s declaration is another step towards a zero-emission future in Surrey” declared Surrey resident Sebastian Sajda, volunteer with Surrey for Future. “But all our cities can do more. The next step for Surrey is to formally adopt the IPCC emission reduction targets and take leadership on getting us to net-zero emissions by 2050.” 

The momentum for the City of Surrey to take greater action to tackle the climate crisis has been building. For the past few months, residents have been regularly attending Council meetings in green t-shirts, calling for Surrey to declare a climate emergency and update their climate targets in light of the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. This echoes the demands of the hundreds who turned out for Surrey’s Global Climate Strike on September 20th.

“This is for my future’s sake,’ stated Arshia Uppal, Surrey youth striker and founder of The Climate Clock. "Sea level rise will affect so many homes in this city so we need radical action from Council today to protect tomorrow’s future.”

Surrey for Future, Camp We Empower, The Climate Clock, Sustainable KSA, Force of Nature and many other environmental groups will continue to organize and advocate for Surrey to formally adopt the IPCC climate targets and to commit to innovative climate solutions to make sure the declaration of a climate emergency does not ring hollow.

Want to get involved in the campaign for Surrey to adopt the IPCC climate targets? Find how you can get involved on our Surrey climate targets campaign page!