File photo.

File photo.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is joining communities around the world in declaring a climate emergency.

The CRD board voted unanimously on the Climate Emergency Declaration, with a goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030.

The district will ask local governments in the region to also declare climate emergencies and work towards carbon neutrality in the next 11 years.

Among the recommendations given the go-ahead, the CRD will have staff submit a Letter of Intent by Friday’s deadline for a $1 million grant from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Partnership Program.

The grants are available to “connect top researchers with policy and industry leaders to develop climate change solutions in B.C.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Sooke Mayor Maja Tait and Saanich councillor Ned Taylor, CRD board members, provided the recommendations in a report to the Parks and Environment Committee in January.

Vancouver and Halifax were the first Canadian cities to declare a climate emergency last month, joining other cities such as Los Angeles and London.

The CRD says it has long been a leader on climate and bolder action is needed following a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last October.

The global warming report described the harm a two-degree Celsius rise in global temperature could cause compared to a rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius, adding the 1.5 degree level is possible with ambitious action.

The board members’ report said their “research demonstrates clearly that taking action is the lowest cost, most prudent and also most inspiring way to proceed in an era where the scientists have given us 11 years to help create a sustainable future.”

The CRD will write to the provincial environment ministry to declare support to help B.C. close the 25 per cent emissions gap in the CleanBC plan.

The district will also call on the provincial and federal governments to provide resources to CRD communities to help reach their 2030 carbon target.

 

CHEK News