City of Davis to Declare Climate Emergency with Resolution
On March 5th, the Davis City Council voted to declare a climate emergency that threatens our city, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity, and the natural world. The Council voted unanimously in favor of the “Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency and Proposing Mobilization Efforts to Restore a Safe Climate” at the regular Tuesday City Council meeting.
The full memo from the City Council Legislative Subcommittee to the City Council is available on the city website.
In addition, a supporting ASUCD Climate Emergency Resolution.pdf authored by Megan Phelps and other students was written to stand in solidarity with cities and college campuses across the United States in declaring a climate emergency.
Climate mobilization orientation sparks local resolution
Four active Davisites attended a Sacramento Region Climate Mobilization orientation in late December and came back eager to join the mobilization, including Lorenzo Kristov, a board member of Valley Clean Energy and retired CAISO operator and energy specialist; Lynne Nittler, a founding member of Cool Davis and leader of Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice; Elizabeth Lasensky, a Yolo Move-On activist; Odd Fellow member, and Rancho Yolo community advocate; and Robin Kozloff, an active advocate for neighborhood resiliency and member of the Davis Manor neighborhood.
The Climate Mobilization Movement is a global network engaging public and government agencies to prevent climate and ecological catastrophe by asking for a response to climate change and ecological destruction as an emergency. According to the website, the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Los Angeles, and Santa Cruz, among others in California, have adopted Climate Emergency and Mobilization Resolutions, while Chico, Sacramento, and West Sacramento are currently working on resolutions.
The idea is powerful: cities have often been a source of national progress, from the minimum wage to civil rights. Local wins inspire other communities to follow and build a mandate for much-needed national action, demonstrating that cities can become advocates and push for state and national mobilization on climate action.
The Climate Mobilization Movement goals are for cities to:
- Declare a climate emergency with a commitment to reach zero emissions and begin carbon drawdown at emergency speed (minimum of 10 years).
- Become advocates for climate mobilization to the public, other cities, the state, and the nation.
- Develop and implement mobilization policy locally.
Back in Davis, things moved fast. Two council members on the legislative subcommittee – Lucas Frerichs and Dan Carson – readily agreed to work on a Climate Mobilization resolution. Several others joined the team, including Greg Miller, a PhD student in the UC Davis Energy graduate group and new member of the Natural Resources Commission; Steve Nyholm, leader of the on-hiatus Davis Permaculture Guild; and Denise Peach, the new Village Homes Neighborhood Association representative to the Cool Davis Coalition. With expert help from City Sustainability Analyst Kerry Loux, the background information document and the “Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency and Proposing Mobilization Efforts to Restore a Safe Climate” were created.
The Davis Climate Emergency Resolution
The resolution, presented in a memorandum pre-dated for tomorrow’s council meeting, recognizes that “human activities have warmed the earth to a point that threatens climate stability and climate change has already set in motion catastrophic changes to the Earth’s systems,” which, “threatens our city, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world” including “a devastating burden to the global economy.” In an effort to avoid dangerous tipping points, the resolution commits the City of Davis to “taking significant action to move toward net municipal and community carbon neutrality in the short term, with maximum efforts to implement carbon reduction actions by 2030; and accelerate the existing 2050 Davis carbon neutrality goal to a 2040 target.”
The resolution specifically commits the city to engaging with the Natural Resources Commission and partner Cool Davis, accelerating a robust update to the Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, and integration with the General Plan update.
In affirmation of “the need for the understanding, participation and support of the entire Davis community for all actions and initiatives the City may adopt in response to the climate emergency,” the resolution commits the City to “providing outreach, information and education for Davis residents and City staff on the urgency of climate responses, reduction of GHG emissions, the policies and strategies to advance sustainability and resilience; and to regularly assess its GHG reduction goals, actions and policies and provide progress reports and metrics annually.
The resolution also commits to “keeping the considerations of disadvantaged communities central to the climate emergency mobilization planning process” and encouraging “these communities to directly advocate for their specific needs.”
If passed, the city would promise to “advocate for implementing aggressive state and federal policies to eliminate GHG emissions” in the three parallel Cool Davis domains: transportation, built environment (for Cool Davis, home energy), and consumption. The highlights for transportation include moving toward a completely electrified transportation system; for the built environment, moving toward zero net energy for new and retrofitted construction; and, for consumption, addressing several water, food, waste, urban forest, and other issues.
City Council Meets at Our Community Chambers
Members of the community are always encouraged to attend the City Council meeting to be held at Community Chambers, 23 Russell Boulevard, starting at 6:30pm (corner of Russell and “B” Streets) and may speak about the resolution. For more information about your City’s regular meetings, visit the City of Davis website.
By Lynne Nittler with contributions from Leslie Crenna
Message for 350 national:
In just one week, millions of us will be hitting the streets around the world to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels.
But we need your help now.
Watch these short video messages of climate strikers talking about why they will be “out of the office/school/home/etc” on September 20th - and share. Or record your own message to share on social media.
We’re out of office. Are you with us?
We are out of patience, out of time, and out of options. We need everyone everywhere - workers, teachers, parents, neighbors - to spread the word and join the youth leading this fight in the streets for climate justice. And you can help.
Get the word out and inspire others to get “out of office” on September 20th. Take two minutes to record your own custom message to your online community, sharing your reasons for joining the Global Climate Strike.
And don’t forget to add the hashtags if you create your own message - use #climatestrike #strikewithus and #outoftheoffice so we can see everything being shared and amplify. And don’t forget to link to globalclimatestrike.net so you spread the word about Global Climate Strikes kicking off in a week, on September 20th.
Ready, set, go! Tell everyone you’ll be out of the office, school, home or wherever you are with our downloadable videos (if you don’t want to record your own, just share one of ours) – and ask others to join you.
Thanks for sharing,
P.S. Haven’t RSVPed for a Climate Strike near you? There are almost 700 actions happening around the country on September 20th so sign up to join one today. ... See MoreSee Less
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Cool Davis is a coalition of citizens, the City of Davis, and community organizations working to empower our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.