Thanks to overwhelming support from North Shore residents, the District of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver both declared a climate emergency on Monday, July 8th. Almost 40 residents attended either the District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver meetings, and dozens more sent supportive emails! You can even catch our activists on the CBC news!
Monday was amazing. In his speech to introduce the climate emergency motion to the floor West Vancouver Councillor Craig Cameron dismissed the idea that a motion to declare a climate emergency was just virtue signalling. Cameron stated ‘a declaration is an admission of fact’ that will help ‘put that debate to bed’ over whether climate change is real. Councillor Cameron continued to say that this means the ‘status quo is not an option’. Correct! The status quo is not an option. And Councillor Nora Gambioli affirmed this view that the declaration should mean staff support all actions to reduce emissions across all departments calling for ‘all hands on deck’.
Communities around the world have woken up to this fact that right now we face a climate emergency. A total of 740 jurisdictions and local governments have declared a climate emergency! You can view the list here.
We were definitely inspired by the community support on show. And it seemed District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver councillors were too. Due to the overwhelming support in District of North Van they moved the climate emergency motion to be the first item on the agenda.
If only West Vancouver had been so lucky. Despite having to wait past 9:30pm for the motion to be introduced, there were over 20 supportive residents in attendance. Due to the strength of support in West Vancouver, councillors proposed multiple amendments to strengthen the motion. The most important amendments were:
- They asked city staff to report back in 90 days with a climate strategy to reach the IPCC targets - 45% emission reduction below 2010 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
- They asked staff to come back and report on what was being currently being done by the next council meeting July 22nd.
This was a huge win. By explicitly tying the new climate strategy with the IPCC emission reduction targets, West Vancouver is one step closer to officially adopting the IPCC targets. West Vancouver’s current targets, adopted in 2016, are to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Whereas earlier this year the District of North Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver adopted the stronger IPCC targets, with its first target a 45% emission reduction by 2030. For the North Shore to become a zero emission metropolis it is crucial West Vancouver officially adopts the IPCC emission reduction targets.
And when this report from West Vancouver staff, as to how the council can meet the IPCC emission reduction targets, comes back to council in 90 days we need to show the same level of community support. This is a process that must be supported all the way through to the end. You can sign up for that meeting here.
From the results on Monday we know we can win. We must now turn the declaration of climate emergencies into real action on the North Shore. Monday was only the first step and we need you to help make sure this momentum continues!
Our North Shore team have two campaign ideas already to turn the climate emergency declaration into real change:
- Make all new buildings as energy efficient as possible. Buildings are one of the highest sources of emissions on the North Shore. By encouraging retrofits and requiring all new buildings to be built to the highest efficiency level possible we can tackle one of the biggest sources of emissions in our community.
- A ban on single use plastics - we have seen the devastation on our beaches and in our oceans caused by the use of single use plastics. We want to start to gather community support to run a campaign for the North Shore to stop the use of single use plastics.
We are so excited to turn the North Shore into a zero emission metropolis and a haven for the environment. You can join our team to be able to do just that.