Thursday, August 29th 2019, 4:43 pm - The city is the latest in Canada to make such a declaration.
The City of Edmonton has become the latest Canadian metropolis to declare a climate emergency.
Edmonton's city council voted 10-3 to make the declaration. That motion also included a directive for the city's administration to make quarterly reports to council on specific actions that are being taken, as well as future action, on the city's energy transition plan, which includes measures such as reducing city emissions and improving energy efficiency. Council also voted to toughen up the city's CO2 emissions targets.
“The debate over whether climate change is real is over. The debate is: what are we going to do about it?” Coun. Aaron Paquette, who introduced the motion, said in a release from the city.
With the declaration, the city joins Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, as well as other smaller Canadian communities who have made similar declarations in recent years.
At a national level, the House of Commons made a national climate emergency declaration in June, which passed 186-83.
Most such declarations are based on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a 2016 pact among most of the countries in the world to attempt to cut emissions to a low enough level to limit future temperature increases to 1.5°C. In Edmonton, the city says it is trying to bring per-person emissions down to three tonnes per year by 2030, and to full carbon-neutrality by 2050 (the city says Edmontonians' current emissions are at the 20-tonne level).
Per capita, Canadian CO2 emissions are some of the highest in the world. Earlier in 2019, a federal government report found that Canada has been warming at twice the pace of the global average.