Demanding New York City Council to declare Climate Emergency
New York City, NY - New York City may soon make history as the largest city in the world to declare a climate emergency. On Monday, June 24th 1pm activists from Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, Indivisible, Rise and Resist, 350 Brooklyn and many others, will rally on the steps of City Hall in support of Resolution 0864-2019 (“Resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate.”) the The NYC City Council Committee on Environmental Protection will hear testimony for the rResolution, 0864-2019, a Resolution calling for the Declaration of a Climate Emergency (“Resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for an immediate emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate”) which was introduced by Council Members Ben Kallos and Costa Constantinides. This declaration is an critical essential first step toward a just transition for New York City to become carbon neutral and must be passed byin the New York City Council to protect all the citizens of NYC.
Activists from Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, Indivisible, Rise and Resist, 350 Brooklyn and many others, will rally outside the hearing, on the steps of City Hall, at 1:00 p.m. in support of the resolution.
October 2018’s IPCC Special Report on Global Warming gave just eleven years to keep warming to a habitable 1.5 degrees celsius. Only a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and systemic changes will prevent global climate catastrophe.
The impacts of further planetary heating include droughts, food and water shortage, crop failures, mass displacement, and increasingly powerful storms, wildfires and floods both in the US and abroad. Further, a May 6th United Nations report predicts the extinction of over one million plant and animal species due to human caused climate change and habitat loss. This will affect every species on this planet, including human beings.
The first step in responding to this catastrophic situation is to name it as an emergency. By passing this resolution, New York City will be the largest city in the world to do so.
The lack of any serious climate crisis response in Washington makes it essential the nation’s major cities take the lead. Here in New York City, already devastated by Hurricane Sandy, we must recognize the magnitude of the climate crisis.
We must focus on reducing emissions, shifting to clean, safe renewables, lowering all around consumption, and protecting frontline communities. But first we must clearly name the problem. New York can and should go further and educate its citizens about the climate crisis.
By passing the historic Climate Mobilization Act, the Council has already taken an important step toward reducing the city’s carbon emissions on a rapid timeline. Now the Council must invest in climate resiliency and decarbonize all industries in NYC.
New York’s stated goal of zero emissions by 2050 is far too late and would take us takes us to the last fraction of the last second. We need to get to net zero emissions by 2025, establish a Climate Resiliency Department, and establish mechanisms for Participatory Democracy in deciding a path forward. A problem the size of the Climate Crisis, calls for bold solutions that are lead by the people on the ground dealing with the issues.
Both Ireland and the United Kingdom have jump-started their climate mobilization through a climate emergency declaration. New York should follow suit: by declaring a climate emergency and making a public commitment to mobilize all sectors and industries toward a just, resilient, safe, clean, carbon-free economy, this resolution will acknowledge the future we face and build on the growing momentum in New York City (and within the State Government) for climate justice.