Burnaby declares climate emergency, commits to carbon neutrality by 2050 – Burnaby Now

Burnaby declares climate emergency, commits to carbon neutrality by 2050 - Burnaby Now
Burnaby becomes latest B.C. city to declare a climate emergency
The City of Burnaby has joined several other Metro Vancouver municipalities in declaring a climate emergency.

In a statement, the city said it will be directing staff to develop a plan with the goal of reaching carbon-neutrality by 2050. 

The city has also committed to new targets for reducing emissions: a 45 per cent reduction by 2030 and 75 per cent reduction by 2040.

"Transitioning to carbon neutrality will enhance our environmental health, resilience and sustainability," said Mayor Mike Hurley in a statement Monday.

A group of Burnaby residents and activists calling themselves the Force of Nature alliance gathered at city hall to celebrate the decision.

In a statement, they urged the city to adopt initiatives such as better walking and cycling infrastructure, encouraging more frequent public transit and more energy-efficient homes.

Since the beginning of 2019, the municipalities of Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Port Moody, West Vancouver and both the city and district of North Vancouver have also declared climate emergencies.

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British Columbia’s third-largest city has become the latest municipality to declare a climate emergency.

READ MORE: B.C. could see catastrophic consequences from climate change-related events in 30 years: report

The city has also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, with a targeted 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and a 75 per cent reduction by 2040.

A warming climate endangers everything, from our local economy to the well-being of our citizens, said Mayor Mike Hurley in a statement.

Transitioning to carbon neutrality will enhance our environmental health, resilience and sustainability.

The city says the move aligns Burnaby with the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) goal to hold global temperature increases to 1.5 C.

The IPCCs 2018 report says emissions must be cut by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to avoid severe climate change impacts.

Burnaby city staff have now been directed to draw up a policy framework including “big moves” and “fast track actions” to curb carbon emissions.

The move sees Burnaby join more than 600 other municipal governments around the world, including Vancouver, in declaring climate emergencies.