City Council declares climate emergency

AS AN urgent response to the current environmental disasters, the Cebu City Council has declared a climate emergency during its regular session on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.

Councilor Alvin Dizon sponsored the resolution stating the need to create a Climate Change Technical Working Group, which would craft a comprehensive Local Climate Change Action Plan as mandated by the Climate Change Act of 2009.

The council’s declaration is a call to action following calamities that “threaten the current generations and the generations to come.”

The City must commit to a citywide Just Transition to reverse the global warming by appropriating funds and passing measures and policies to end greenhouse gas emissions in the city no later than 2030, according to Dizon.

Just Transition is a framework for a fair shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy that is “ecologically sustainable, equitable and just for the people.”

In Just Transition, the economy shifts from dirty energy to Energy Democracy, from funding highways to expanding public transit, from incinerators and landfills to zero waste, among others.

The Cebu City Government should also commit to the principle of Energy Democracy, said Dizon.

“It represents a shift from a corporate, centralized fossil fuel economy to one that is designed on the principle of no-harm to the environment,” read a portion of Dizon’s resolution.

The concept, said Dizon, supports local economies and renewable energy, adding that it “contributes to the health and well-being for all peoples and protects the right of the environment and future generations.”

In April 2016, leaders from 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement, agreeing to fight and combat the threat of climate change by “keeping global average temperature well below two-degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” and pursue “efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5-degree Celsius.”

“The death and destruction already wrought by global warming clearly demonstrate that the Earth is already too hot as attested by increased and intensifying wildfires, floods, rising sea level, diseases, droughts and extreme weather (conditions),” Dizon said.

The City Council, together with its secretariat, implemented a ban on plastic water bottles as a way of starting the fight for the environment during its regular session last Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Dizon distributed tumblers made of recycled materials to his fellow councilors. (JJL)


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