As a long time climate change advocate and activist having traveled to France in 2015 as part of the COP 21 delegation of 33 individuals/organizations representing the Gulf Coast and Global South where Earth Ethics was able to address the UN on the urgency of action to address the adverse impacts of climate change and as the recent recipient of the Fighter League program to promote climate justice in the Gulf South, we cannot stress enough the importance of initiating a Declaration of a Climate Emergency. (The Fighter League program is made of women of color championing for the rights of frontline communities being adversely impacted by sea level rise, housing and more).
The goal of the declaration is to compel governments to adopt an emergency response to climate change. Although, the city has a climate change plan, the only way in which we can be successful is for actions outlined in the plan to come to fruition. Based on the quick review we have conducted; it appears the plan lacks a detailed adaptation and mitigation strategy. This is needed for short-term and long-term goals of the existing plan.
By implementing a declaration of climate emergency, the City is promising not to let one more plan sit on a shelf, but to implement and expand the plan as needed. But we must act now. In addition, we believe that it is IMPERATIVE that the issue of climate change and the plan itself is addressed in a manner that represents the community by bringing a diverse group of stakeholders to the table.
I support the City of Pensacola issuing a Declaration of Climate Emergency.