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Comox councillor seeks support in addressing provincial climate emergency

COMOX, B.C. – Comox councillor Alex Bissinger hopes her colleagues at the council table will back her, in recognizing that B.C. is facing a climate emergency.

During Wednesday’s council meeting, Bissinger read out a notice of motion that “The Town of Comox formally recognize a climate emergency, and further that, the Town of Comox take a leadership role to work towards achieving carbon neutrality in the region by 2030.

“That the Town of Comox consider all projects, procurements and decisions going forward through the lens of climate change mitigation and adaptation. That staff prepare a report to council within six months, with tangible actions, the mayor, council, and town staff can take to address this emergency. And that council seek commitment and financial support from (the) CVRD and its member communities for a shared position of sustainability and long-range planning manager for the Comox Valley.”

The Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) has adopted a resolution, requesting the provincial government to declare a province-wide climate emergency.

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This is in order to emphasize “the critical and imperative need for immediate action,” and to assist with province-wide collaboration and resources that will support local governments and communities and their abilities to adapt and manage ongoing change.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the country’s climate is warming up twice as fast as the global average.

The agency says that this assessment “confirms that Canada’s climate has warmed in response to global emissions of carbon dioxide from human activity.”

“The effects of widespread warming are already evident in many parts of Canada and are projected to intensify in the near future,” Environment and Climate Change Canada said in a release.

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“A warmer climate will affect the frequency and intensity of forest fires, the extent and duration of snow and ice cover, precipitation, permafrost temperatures, and other extremes of weather and climate, as well as freshwater availability, rising of sea level, and other properties of the oceans surrounding Canada.”

Bissinger’s motion will return to the council table for discussion in two weeks time.

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