Tampa, Declare a Climate Emergency

Tampa, Declare a Climate Emergency

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Giuliana Debbaudt Gabarret started this petition to Tampa City Council and

We are calling on Tampa to join an increasing number of local governments across the United States to recognize the urgency for climate action.

The 4th National Climate Assessment published in 2018 says that people need to take immediate action on global warming to avoid “substantial damages to the US economy, environment, and human health, and well-being over the coming decades”. The threats of climate change are not ones that need to be solved by the next generation, but are problems we need to plan for now, and quickly. 

U.S. Rep Kathy Castor, of Tampa, recently announced a climate plan in Congress stating that the United States should cut carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050, which is in alignment with the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC states that in order to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, the world needs to strive to get to net zero emissions by 2050. 77 countries, and over 100 cities have already committed to this goal. 

The City of Tampa should strive to be on the same page.

The issues that Tampa is predicted to face because of climate change include:

Economic Devastation that will come as a result of sea level rise causing huge property losses and disruptions of activity due to the climate changing. According to the EPA, Tampa will suffer the greatest financial losses of coastal property in all of Florida.
Increase of health issues due to the increasing temperatures, decreasing of air quality, and rising of water levels, heat-related health issues, and mosquito borne diseases are going to become more frequent and more common. 
Sea Rise: the Tampa Bay Area is considered one of the most vulnerable metropolitan areas in the country when it comes to rising sea levels. A rising sea level means saltwater intrusion degrading our water quality, increase of diseases, and loss of land. 
Extreme Temperatures; winter lows will rise 3 to 10 degrees, and summer highs will rise 3 to 7 degrees. This will be accompanied with more droughts, and rainfall events. Temperature change like this means greater damage to Florida’s coral reefs and oceans, more heat related illnesses, and more invasive plants/species. 
Natural Events will intensify; hurricanes are becoming more severe, floods will become more frequent, and storms are becoming stronger. This will bring about loss of life, more economic devastation, and further damage of our resources. 

We can’t wait until these threats are upon us to take action. These are consequences that require planning in order to protect our economy, our environment, our health, and our lives. Tampa has a lot to lose if we don’t begin to take climate change seriously. 76 cities in the United States have already committed to making changes to support their communities in fighting climate change, declaring climate emergencies and following up with decisive and effective legislation.

We are asking The City of Tampa to be the next to do so. 

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