Burnaby, B.C. joins 990 cities in declaring climate emergency

Posted Sep 10, 2019 by Karen Graham
The city of Burnaby, British Columbia has now declared a climate emergency, and in response is planning on cutting gas emissions with the aim of reaching carbon-neutrality by 2050. Burnaby joins 250 communities across Canada and 990 worldwide.
Burnaby  British Columbia. Mt Rainier would be visible on the horizon to the left of centre  if it w...
Burnaby, British Columbia. Mt Rainier would be visible on the horizon to the left of centre, if it wasn't for the haze.
Rob Hurson from Kentstown, Ireland (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Burnaby's City Council made the decision Monday night at a meeting, issuing a statement saying the city will be directing staff to develop a plan with the goal of reaching carbon-neutrality by 2050, according to CBC Canada.
The city is joining two other communities in British Columbia who made their declarations in July- West Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver. And, Burnaby is now part of a list of 250 local governments across Canada who have decided to take the climate crisis seriously.
Sav Dhaliwal - Burnaby City Councillor; Board Chair, Metro Vancouver Regional District; Past Preside
“A warming climate endangers everything from our local economy to the well-being of our citizens,” Mayor Mike Hurley said, reports City News. “Transitioning to carbon neutrality will enhance our environmental health, resilience, and sustainability.”
A local group of residents and activists called the Force of Nature alliance were at City Hall to celebrate the occasion last night.
“Tonight, I am so proud to be a Burnaby resident,” says Stephen Dreaver, a Force of Nature volunteer. “Our cities across the Lower Mainland are showing the provincial and federal governments what real climate action looks like.”
The Climate Mobilization and climate emergencies
The force behind communities declaring a climate emergency is in part due to an international organization - Climate Mobilization. It was founded in 2014 - organizing around the need for WWII-scale emergency speed transition to a zero-emissions economy.
Climate Emergency Campaigns have spread globally and is now being championed by leading climate groups and hundreds of local governments that have declared a Climate Emergency.
To date, there are over 990 local governments in 18 countries that have declared a climate emergency and committed to action to drive down emissions at emergency speed. These local governments represent over 213 million people, all of them concerned about our climate crisis and willing to do what is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Cities and local governments have historically been the spark for progress, from minimum wage to civil rights. Local wins inspire other communities to follow and build a mandate for much-needed national mobilizations. For example, the Climate and Environment Emergency Declaration in the United Kingdom started in cities and local councils.