Councillors didn’t see the urgency of declaring a climate emergency in Langley Township at Monday night’s meeting.
Coun. Petrina Arnason’s motion, which also called for the Township to create a carbon budget to account for how the community was creating greenhouse gases, was referred to a strategic planning meeting in September for more discussion.
“We’re actually stealing from the next generation,” Arnason said, calling fighting climate change the biggest moral and social challenge faced by society.
“The real emergency is the time frame,” she noted.
A delegation of local Green Party members and youths concerned about climate change also spoke in favour of action.
However, council was in no hurry.
“I don’t see this as the type of emergency that we need to deal with today,” said Coun. Blair Whitmarsh, acknowledging climate change is getting worse.
Earlier in the meeting, Cheryl Wiens of the B.C. Green Party explained what a climate emergency was.
She noted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report last year saying that there was 10 to 12 years for developed countries to switch their energy systems to clean ones, to avert a more severe rise in global temperatures.
Wiens mentioned the forest fires that have ravaged B.C. in recent years, cloaking even the Lower Mainland in smoke for days or weeks at a time, as one of the ongoing impacts of climate change.
Several other communities around B.C. and across Canada have already declared climate emergencies.