The Green Party of Ontario released the following statement after Kingston became the first municipality in Ontario to declare a climate emergency:
“We applaud Kingston City Council’s unanimous vote to declare a climate emergency.
Kingston City Council is showing the leadership and ambition that is seriously lacking in the provincial government right now. While the Ford government dials back action on climate change and wastes taxpayer money on fighting federal climate action, Kingston is being honest with its citizens about the climate crisis and committing to changing the status quo.
This is what happens when Greens are elected to municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.
We congratulate our former candidate, Robert Kiley, on making history in Kingston, inspiring a unanimous vote at city council. Kingston joins Halifax and Vancouver in declaring a climate emergency.
Governments are elected to solve problems, not ignore them.
That’s why we need more Green voices in city councils, in provincial legislatures, and in Parliament, to listen to the science, propose solutions and treat climate change as the emergency that it truly is.”
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MARCH 8 UPDATE: Media Release from the City of Kingston:
‘City of Kingston Takes Bold Step to Combat Climate Change’
On March 5, city council unanimously passed a motion that the City of Kingston officially declare a climate emergency. The purpose of the declaration was for “naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change.”
While Kingston is the first municipality in Ontario to make such a declaration, the city follows three others in Canada who have taken similar steps.
“We declared a climate emergency as a way to signal Kingston’s commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and developing new technologies to combat climate change,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “An emergency is defined as a dangerous situation requiring an urgent response. We recognize climate change as a critical global issue, so we are making climate leadership a strategic priority here in Kingston.”
The motion, brought forward by Councilor Robert Kiley, acknowledges the global scale of the economic, health, environmental and human impacts of climate change and recognizes international research indicates the world needs to massively reduce carbon emissions in the next 11 years to “avoid further and devastating economic, ecological, and societal loss.”