Montgomery County, MD // December 5, 2017 // PDF

EMERGENCY CLIMATE MOBILIZATION

Current global warming of approximately 1 degree Celsius has triggered cataclysmic changes to the Earth. These changes include an accelerating collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the thawing of the Arctic permafrost, an increase in mega-droughts, heat waves, super-storms, flash flooding, the migration of mosquito-borne diseases, the melting of glaciers, polar ice-sheet collapse, coral bleaching, the mass extinction of species, ocean oxygen loss, and sea level rise.

Climate change will cause an increase in water and food shortages, civil unrest, state failure, civil war and terrorism throughout the world, with no region or nation being immune to these effects, including Montgomery County.

There is a strong consensus among scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be eliminated in a decade at most — with a simultaneous global effort to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere — to stabilize at or near the 1.5 C (2.4 F) threshold believed to provide a reasonable chance for the survival of human civilization and other complex life forms on this planet.

The federal government, national media, and civil society, including most climate organizations, have drastically underestimated the urgency of the climate and ecological crises, failed to accept that we face an unprecedented global emergency, and relied on failed strategies of gradualism.

We must together implement a massive emergency global mobilization effort to successfully eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.

Each of us has the moral duty to safeguard the planet for future generations.

Montgomery County has been a national leader in responding to the challenge of climate change, including establishing a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the County by 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels, yet now needs to do much more, much faster.

Action

The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following resolution:

The Montgomery County Council calls upon the national Administration, the Congress, the State, and other local governments to join Montgomery County, to use all available powers and resources to:

  1. declare a climate emergency and initiate a massive global mobilization to restore a safe climate and build a sustainable economy; and
  2. transform the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2027 and reaching 100% elimination by 2035, and initiate large-scale efforts to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere.

The Montgomery County Council calls upon the Montgomery County Executive, Montgomery County Public Schools and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission to advise the Council over the next six months on specific methods for accelerating the County’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal.