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Tackling 'Urgency and Scale" of Crisis, Oakland, Calif. Declares Climate Emergency

City council passed resolution Tuesday endorsing declaration of a climate emergency and calling for just transition

Demonstrators hold signs during a march in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo: Takver/flickr/cc)

The Oakland city council on Tuesday passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency. (Photo: Takver/flickr/cc)

The Oakland Climate Action Coalition claimed victory Tuesday night after the California city passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency and committing it to urgent action to tackle the crisis.

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. In this time we must go both fast and far, together," said Colin Cook-Miller, coordinator for the coalition. "Our movement for a rapid Just Transition mobilization must be coordinated, strategic, and unified, with leadership from the most-impacted frontline communities who are at the forefront of change."

The "Declaration of a Climate Emergency and Requesting Regional Collaboration on an Immediate Just Transition and Emergency Mobilization Effort to Restore a Safe Climate" resolution commits the city to:  an "urgent climate mobilization" to slash emissions, moving towards zero net emissions; building resilience strategies for the coming climate impacts; a just transition, making vulnerable communities central to such a shift; and calling on other states, the federal government, and other nations to make a similar mobilization towards climate action and a just transition.


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In a letter to city council members on Tuesday, local organizational leaders including Miller, as well as Greg Jackson of Sustainable Economies Law Center, Miya Yoshitani of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Bonnie Borucki of Transition Berkeley, and Kemba Shakur of Urban Releaf, noted that climate emergency resolutions have already been in the California cities of Richmond and Berkeley passed and wrote that the measure before the Oakland city council  "matches the urgency and scale of the ecological, economic and climate crisis that we face."

"At this time in history," they wrote, "a livable future for any of our children is far from guaranteed. We must do everything in our power today to create a safe, just, and healthy world for ourselves, for our children, and for future generations."


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