The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809

Wilmington Joins National Call for Action on Climate Change

City's Port, Water Supply Threatened by Sea-level Rise


Wilmington, Del., has joined more than 30 other U.S. cities in urging national leaders to use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. The city council passed a resolution Thursday making Wilmington the 34th American city to join the Center for Biological Diversity's national Clean Air Cities campaign.

"Wilmington supports the Clean Air Act, and we're glad to see this effective law used to fight climate change," said Eric D. Robinson, the Wilmington councilmember who introduced the resolution. "We're proud to join 33 other cities in supporting the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to reduce carbon pollution. Global warming could really hurt our state's public health and water supplies, so we're eager to see prompt action."

"By passing this resolution, Wilmington recognizes the gravity of the global climate crisis and supports one key solution: the Clean Air Act," said Rose Braz, the Center's climate campaign director. "Cities around the country, from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh -- and now Wilmington -- have spoken out with an urgent message to our national leaders. To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to act now."

Delaware is extremely vulnerable to the effects of sea-level rise driven by climate change. Sea levels along the state's coast could rise nearly 1.5 feet by 2050 and nearly 5 feet by 2100, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and other agencies. That would drive salty water farther up upstream, endangering water supplies for cities along the Delaware River. Wilmington's port and riverwalk could also be flooded by the rising waters.

Climate change also threatens Wilmington's public health. Higher temperatures will likely lead to more heat-related deaths and an increase in ground-level ozone, which is linked to increased risk of asthma and other respiratory disease.

The Center's Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fl.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; and Detroit, Mich. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center's Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252