Resolution to Declare Climate Emergency and Need for Climate Debate by Democratic Presidential Candidates,
adopted June 18, 2019 by the Northampton Democratic City Committee.
Whereas, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in fall, 2018 declared that, to avoid the most devastating manifestations of global heating and the triggering of geophysical feedback loops leading to rising seas, severe storms, flooding, drought and crop failure, the world must cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 45% by 2030; and
Whereas, the US 4thNational Climate Assessment recognized that “the impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United States and are projected to intensify in the future, but the severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur”; and
Whereas, if greenhouse gases are left unchecked the cost of climate change to the US economy will rise to greater than $200 billion/year, mostly in public health costs; and
Whereas, the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Report released in May it warns that species extinction rates are “accelerating” at an “unprecedented” rate due to the human-caused climate crisis and economic activity, with more than one million species pushed to the brink of extinction; and
Whereas, climate chaos is already manifesting in the forms of massive hurricanes (Maria, Harvey, Irene), uncontrollable western wildfires, historic flooding in the Midwest, melting of glaciers and sea ice and heatwaves in the arctic and subarctic; and
Whereas, worldwide, fossil fuel emissions continue to rise despite access to technology that would, though energy efficiency and conservation, conversion to clean renewable energy, forest protection, sustainable farming practices and defunding of wasteful military spending, enable reaching the emissions goals demanded by climate science; and
Whereas the present administration has moved in lockstep with the fossil fuel industry in every instance denying the existence, threat, source and effective response to climate change and has done everything in its power to increase the mining, drilling and burning of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases; and
Whereas, millions of well-paying union jobs, improved health through cleaner air and a more just economy are all attainable through the process of transition off fossil fuels; and
Whereas, members of the Democratic Party have historically played a leadership role in the fight against climate change and in 2019 Presidential candidates are creating and supporting effective and job-creating programs to meet the climate challenge;
Therefore, be it established that the Northampton Democratic City Committee (NDCC) declares that our country faces a climate emergency; and
The NDCC supports the immediate establishment by a new Democratic Administration of a massive emergency plan to eliminate fossil fuels in a just and job-creating manner; and
The NDCC calls for an open dedicated debate by Presidential candidates about the veracity of climate science, the existential and tangible threat it poses to our country and life on earth and candidates’ workable proposals scaled to meet that threat in a just transition off fossil fuels.