On Monday, April 25, Evanston’s City Council will have an opportunity to join hundreds of other cities in 38 countries in declaring a climate emergency.
By voting “yes” on a resolution that will come before them in a special order of business, council members will recognize the urgency of climate threats. They will commit to concrete actions, beginning now, to help Evanston reach our net-zero emissions goal by 2050 while preparing for the inevitable impacts of climate change. And they will communicate to a new City Manager that action on climate is a top priority. More than a dozen community groups are urging a “yes” vote.
Evanston’s current Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) was adopted unanimously in December 2018 by the previous City Council. It’s a strong document, the work of a diverse and devoted working group of community members. It doesn’t, however, lay out a detailed implementation plan, and budget and staffing have never been commensurate with CARP goals. The Climate Emergency Resolution will begin to open up a clearer pathway for meaningful change.
So far, Evanstonians have been insulated from the most dire and immediate effects of climate change. No Evanston homes have been lost to climate-fueled wildfires, and we live next to one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. But even here, we can’t escape from rising temperatures …