Monday, November 04, 2019 - 9:00 PM

City Takes Action on Climate Change

Today at their regular meeting (November 4, 2019) City Council voted to declare Climate Mitigation and Adaptation as a Strategic Priority of the City of St. John’s. The vote was unanimous.

The contents of the motion, presented by Councillor Ian Froude are below:

1) The United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has established that:
a. Human activities have caused approximately 1.0 ⁰C of global warming above pre-industrial levels.
b. At current current greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rates, global warming will reach 1.5 ⁰C between 2030 and 2052;
c. Climate change is currently jeopardizing the health and survival of many species and other natural environments, stressing local and international eco-systems and economies;
d. Ambitious reduction in carbon emissions are necessary to avoid further economic, ecological, and societal loss;

2) Health Canada has established that:
a. Climate change is affecting Canadian’s health and will continue to pose challenges in the future including impacts to temperature-related morbidity, weather-related natural hazards, as well as impacts to air quality, water and food-borne contaminants, vector-borne disease, and health effects of exposure to ultraviolet rays.

3) Natural Resources Canada has established that:
a. Atlantic Canada has experienced an increase in temperature of 0.7 ⁰C;
b. The annual precipitation in Atlantic Canada has increased by approximately 11.3%, while snow and ice have declined;
c. St. John’s has seen a sea level rise of 1.9 mm per year, and temperatures have risen by 0.13⁰C per decade;
d. These regional and local trends are projected to continue and intensify because of climate change, exacerbating social, environmental and economic impacts.

Therefore, be it resolved:

4) That the City of St. John’s officially affirm a climate emergency for the purpose of deepening our commitment to protecting our community, economy, natural assets, and ecosystems from changes in climate.

Further that the City of St. John’s affirms action on climate change as a strategic priority.

Further that the City of St. John’s commit to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM).

Further that the City of St. John’s direct staff to bring a report to Council for its consideration before the end of 2019 that describes an approach for creating a Sustainability Plan, which incorporates Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation including, but not be limited to:

a. The assessment of climate risks and vulnerabilities and, ultimately, actions for the City of St. John’s to increase local adaptation and resilience;
b. The development of specific greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2050 and, ultimately, actions and strategies for the City of St. John’s to achieve its targets;
c. The development of reporting systems for energy utilization, greenhouse gas emissions, and weather impacts to inform policy and budgeting choices;
d. The identification of funding sources and collaboration opportunities to support the implementation of the plan.