Port Moody becomes latest city to declare climate emergency

Port Moody has become the latest city to declare a climate emergency. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Port Moody has joined more than 600 other local governments around the world in declaring a climate emergency.

The motion, which was presented at council Tuesday evening, passed unanimously.

“Cities are on the front lines of climate change,” said Port Moody Coun. Amy Lubik, noting that her city is at risk of both sea level rise and wildfires in its nearby forests.

“And, you know, sometimes sometimes — and is my own opinion — sometimes other levels of government aren’t pushing hard enough, and we know that we’re going to be on the front lines and paying for it. So we really need to be taking every step we can.”

It calls for the city to upgrade its greenhouse gas emissions targets to match those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and to toughen up its own climate action plan.

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The IPCC’s 2018 report says emissions must be cut by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to avoid severe climate change impacts.

To do so, the emergency declaration calls for the city to take six specific “bold moves.”

Those include aiming to have 90 per cent of residents living within walking distance of their daily needs and shifting 40 per cent of trips in the city to biking, walking or transit by 2030.

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The motion also seeks to make 50 per cent of vehicles on Port Moody’s roads zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and all new heating and hot water systems in buildings zero emission by 2025.

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It sets a goal of 2030 to cut the carbon content of construction projects by 40 per cent and to set new targets to daylight creeks and protect the city’s marine foreshore.

The motion calls for the city to pen letters to the provincial and the federal government urging more action on climate change.

Port Moody will take the declaration as a resolution to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) later this year.

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