Protestors with the Extinction Rebellion gathered in front of MP Dan Ruimy’s office in May. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge council will be asked to declare climate emergency

Vancouver, London and Los Angeles have already done so

Maple Ridge Council will be asked to declare a climate emergency at their Tuesday meeting.

Steve Ranta will request Maple Ridge become the latest Metro city to make this statement on climate change, and join Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Port Moody, West Vancouver and North Vancouver in declaring a climate emergency.

“A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the fall of 2018 was a real wake-up call,” said Ranta in a press release. “In cautious, scientific language, a group of the world’s top climate scientists basically said we only have about a dozen years to cut our carbon emissions in half, or the future will be grim.”

The United Nations sponsored IPCC is widely considered the most reliable authority on climate change.

“Maple Ridge has been doing some good things in helping to mitigate climate change, like the Town Centre Area Plan, and the planned higher density development along the Lougheed corridor to take advantage of the Translink B-line, but we’ve got to start moving a lot faster,” he added.

READ ALSO: Canadian communities responding to climate change

Ranta, who ran as an independent in the 2017 provincial election, is a member of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Extinction Rebellion, a group which started in United Kingdom, where there has been massive civil disobedience aimed at forcing governments and corporations to take more urgent measures to mitigate climate change. One of its slogans is “Act Now.”

“It makes sense for Maple Ridge to declare a Climate Emergency. Our city already recognizes human-caused climate change is the biggest threat to the safety, livability and sustainability of Maple Ridge,” said Ranta. “It would be entirely consistent with good stewardship, and the image of Maple Ridge as a place close to nature.”

A climate emergency declaration would be expected to help communicate the urgency of taking measures now to mitigate climate change, as well as accelerate policy changes, planning, and projects, along with the provincial and federal governments, he added.

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