Maastricht: Declare Climate Emergency
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Climate change threatens the human civilisation as we know it today. According to the United Nations (2019) if corporations continue their business without radical changes, millions of climate-change related deaths will occur by 2050. Sea level rise and extreme weather events are responsible for the displacement of 24 million people and it is projected that more than one billion refugees will be in seek of new land by 2050 (United Nations, 2019).
Fundamental human rights are in danger. People are dying from heat strokes, starvation, and extreme weather events. Wildfires are increasing, permafrost is thawing, low lying land is being inundated by seawater, and coral reefs, mangroves, kelp forests, and other ecosystems are severely and permanently damaged. Our planet is undergoing the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs and is facing a massive loss of irreplaceable ecosystem services.
The Paris Agreement is the only globally agreed resolution for climate action. Even if all countries implement their commitments under the Paris Agreement, it would still lead us to an increase of 2.7-3.5 °C. However, the United Nations warned that any increase in temperature higher than 1.5 °C is catastrophic for life on earth as we know it today (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, 2018). Currently, we are over 1°C, and even if we stop burning fossil fuels today, another 0.5°C of temperature rise is already locked in.
Climate Change is a global emergency. Climate action is urgently necessary to reduce the number of casualties and safeguard any future of humanity. According to the UN, ground-breaking action needs to be taken now to preserve any possibility of life on earth, for the current and coming generations.
International agreements and governments are failing to address -let alone reverse- the severe effects and causes of this Global Emergency. Local communities such as municipality councils hold a vital role in influencing national and international action. They #kan set milestones and create prototypes for the global community.
The city of Maastricht is the place where Europe united together, to ensure a safe and prosperous life for its citizens. We consider Maastricht as the symbol of our Union, where landmark decisions were agreed upon. Gemeente Maastricht is a powerful catalyst for community wide action. Now it is the time to take action, again.
Climate change is the biggest threat against humanity and urgent measures are necessary. We urge Gemeente Maastricht to recognize its responsibility in causing, but more importantly in addressing, the climate emergency. The city of Maastricht can lead a strong role in a pan-European declaration of a climate emergency.
We acknowledge that the municipality has taken measures towards climate mitigation and sustainable adaptation, but the level of the threat requires more radical policies to be held in place! A climate emergency clears the way for increasingly effective, direct responses to this security threat.
We demand Gemeente Maastricht to join the international movement of more than 600 local governments who have declared a climate emergency and mobilise regional resources accordingly. We call on our representatives to refrain from any further public or private investment in projects that worsen the climate emergency, such as coal, oil, and gas. Instead, facilitate investment in sustainable projects.
We call Gemeente Maastricht to develop an action plan to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Now is the time where decisions have to be made and radical measures taken. Now is the time to work towards our future.
As the birthplace of Europe and the first municipality of the Netherlands to declare climate emergency, Gemeente Maastricht can take a leading role in the global climate movement.
Now is the time of great changes in humanity. We find ourselves in a crucial transition period and we must make decisions for our future. We must decide now, for a tomorrow.
We are running out of time. It is time to act.
Together we #KAN
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