Port Moody mayor looks to declare 'climate emergency'
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 6:02PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:29PM PDT
Port Moody's acting mayor says her community is particularly vulnerable to climate change and is calling on her council to vote to declare a climate emergency.
"As we move forward, we're going to have to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies that are going to be able to provide us with tactics to adapt to climate change," said acting mayor Meghan Lahti.
That's why she's brought forward the motion on climate emergency, in order to develop a plan to not only deal with climate change, but also allow the city to take steps to mitigate it.
The plan includes encouraging people to walk, cycle or take transit more frequently -- easier now that the Evergreen Line rolls right through the city.
The city is also taking steps to increase density in areas around the stations.
In a community where people keep a close eye on the fire rating -- because entire neighbourhoods are nestled inside increasingly dry forests -- many residents support the move.
"I think people would be foolish not to be concerned about it. There's potential anytime," said Monica Craft, who lives near the forest on Heritage Mountain. "We have green space everywhere."
The motion also calls for the city to wean itself off of fossil fuels -- aiming for 40 per cent of vehicles on the road to be electric within a decade.
Close to 20 municipalities in Canada have already declared climate emergencies, including Vancouver.
"You're just adding your voice to the voice of many within the world, I'll say, that are calling for somebody to take a serious look at this and make some really serious commitments," said Lahti.
Port Moody is home to large industry, including a sulphur export terminal, and the mayor says the goal is not to shut it down, but to encourage senior levels of government to increase regulation.
"I think this is absolutely necessary for a climate emergency. We need to do something for the future generations," said Ardis Krueger, who lives in the nearby community of Anmore.
The acting mayor says city staff will have to prepare a report on what the proposal could cost taxpayers.