Get Oakville to Declare a Climate Change Emergency
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We are facing a climate catastrophe. Leading scientists have warned that we have 11 years to take emergency action on climate change, or we face the gravest threats to our local and global environment. This includes worsening risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. We must act urgently, starting by having Oakville immediately pass a motion declaring a climate change emergency.
We call on the town of Oakville to join an increasing number of municipalities across Canada such as Burlington, Hamilton and Kingston in recognizing the urgency for drastic and unprecedented action regarding climate change. We urge Oakville to recognize that climate change is today's crisis, not tomorrow’s.
Canadians have one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and Oakville is no exception. The Town of Oakville must work tirelessly towards reducing emissions because if we let global warming go beyond 1.5°C, coral reefs will be completely eradicated, populations of insects that pollinate plants will be decimated, and ice-free summers in the arctic will be commonplace. Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world.
But it’s not too late. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible - but it requires ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities.
Locally, we have already experienced some effects of climate change. These effects, as well as new threats, will increase at an accelerating rate within the next five to ten years until they far surpass the scale which most people currently envisage. Threats that Oakville faces include:
- Extreme temperatures in the summer and winter, at first threatening the elderly and homeless, and then the population at large, especially those around the poverty line.
- Massive property and infrastructure damage, as well as injuries and loss of life due to floods, tornadoes, ice storms and other extreme weather patterns.
- Profound economic stress from repairing climate change damage, as well as from disruptions to economic activities caused by extreme weather.
- Pressure on communities and infrastructure due to the influx of climate change refugees from both within our borders, and abroad.
- Increased health issues from decreasing air quality, water quality and introduction and proliferation of new and old diseases (such as the Emerald Ash Border and West Nile Virus).
The time for radical change is now. Action to address the multi-faceted threats that face our city, country and the international community needs to be accelerated.
Oakville needs to add its voice to other municipalities across the world in demanding that world leaders act in meaningful ways immediately to combat this grave global threat and to use its unique position to be a leader in municipal carbon reductions with aggressive targets. We do less than necessary at our own peril.
Please sign my petition calling on the Oakville Town Council to declare a climate emergency and take urgent action to do its part in avoiding a climate disaster for all of us, and for generations to come.
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