City of Los Angeles, We Deserve Better Climate Action!
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In October 2018, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their newest anticipated report on climate change which stated that keeping global temperatures below 1.5º C would require "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."
The report made it extremely clear that if temperatures overshoot the 1.5º level, the Earth will witness irreversible damages, including losses of entire ecosystems and potentially humanity itself.
We deserve better.
To achieve this goal outlined by the IPCC, we'll have to rapidly scale back our emissions in the next 12 years. This means that the world has only 12 years to avert climate catastrophe. 12 years before our Earth is subjected to an irreversible catastrophe.
The climate crisis is real and happening. And it is happening quickly.
California, specifically southern regions like Los Angeles, currently is and will continue to bear a great burden of climate impacts, including extreme temperatures, sea level rise, increased wildfires, water shortages, agricultural damages and public health impacts. In Los Angeles specifically, more frequent extreme heat days will pose immediate health risks to vulnerable populations. Sea level rise along Los Angeles’s coastline will exacerbate the effects of coastal storms, increasing flooding and industrial damages. Furthermore, more frequent and intense wildfires across the city region due to high temperatures will result in billions of dollars in firefighting efforts and infrastructure losses (illustrated by the recent Woolsey Fire that led to $6 billion in losses.)
We deserve better.
The United States looks to California as a leader in sustainable energy and climate change action; the City of Los Angeles is a city of progressive change makers and immense national and global influence. Although Mayor Garcetti's Climate Action Plan proposed the goal of bringing Los Angeles’ to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, this is not near ambitious enough given the crucial time constraints outlined by the IPCC report.
The youth of Los Angeles have indicated a vehement willingness to work with City Council on the actions that will be necessary to protect the wellbeing of a future society, theirs to inherit.
We, therefore, propose the City of Los Angeles declare a state of climate emergency and state that bold and unprecedented climate action is needed on the local, state, national, and global scale.
We further propose the City of Los Angeles take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in concurrence with research from the scientific community, thereby updating their Climate Action Plan emission reduction targets to reach net zero emissions within a decade (2030). In doing so, they should direct neighbouring cities and the State of California to consider how this could be done, and should immediately begin lobbying the federal government to put in place policies necessary to achieve this goal on a national level.
The Earth deserves better. Our youth deserve better. We all deserve better.
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