A South Kent Councillor is hoping the Municipality of Chatham-Kent joins other communities from across the country in declaring a climate emergency.
Trevor Thompson is bringing forward a motion on Monday, July 15 at the regular/planning meeting to make the declaration official.
“For the purposes of joining a national and international movement and to provide a lens through which all strategy, policies, action-items and opportunities can be viewed,” Thompson said in his notice of motion.
Thompson said he is hoping staff can work swiftly to identify target areas in municipal policy through which specific changes can have the greatest
impact “to reduce our individual and collective environmental impact.
“And that staff work swiftly to identify means to engage all constituents, partners and stakeholders as active participants in preventing further climate change while reducing damages that have already occurred,” Thompson said.
The Municipality has already acknowledged the ongoing negative impacts of climate change throughout the municipality, Thompson added.
“The Federal motion to declare a national climate emergency describes climate change as a ‘real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity’,” he said, adding that the impacts of climate change will be “catastrophic” to Chatham-Kent’s local economy and municipal budget.
“(It) will result in significant adversity for the constituents of Chatham-Kent.”
Thompson said he feels Chatham-Kent can join a movement of municipal governments who agree that significant change must occur at the local level in order to affect local and global change in line with globally accepted targets.
“Chatham-Kent can position itself as a leader in municipal policy, setting the example of how to reduce the municipality’s own environmental impact through areas such as procurement, life-cycle assessment, community services and urban planning to meet global targets referenced in the Paris Agreement,” Thomson said in his notice of motion.
“Positioning (the) Municipality of Chatham-Kent as an environmentally responsible and sustainable partner can attract further investment in our community from partners and stakeholders,” he added.
Thomson said an emergency is defined as ‘an often dangerous situation requiring immediate action’.
“The United Nations has identified that there is ‘only 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change’,” Thompson said.
Council will discuss and vote on Thompson’s motion on Monday.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m.