Passed on consent agenda 1/29/19 – Thanks especially to sponsors Ryan Coonerty and John Leopold

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BEFORE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

OF THE COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ, STATE OF CALIFORNIA

RESOLUTION NO.

On the motion of   _______________________
duly seconded by   ______________________
the following resolution is adopted

RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE DECLARATION OF A CLIMATE EMERGENCY AND REQUESTING REGIONAL COLLABORATION ON A MOBILIZATION EFFORT TO RESTORE A SAFE CLIMATE

WHEREAS, in April 2016, world leaders from 175 countries recognized the threat of climate change and the urgent need to combat it by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep warming “well below 2°c above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”; and

WHEREAS, the October 8, 2018 special report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that curtailing warming to 1.5°C to reduce the risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, economic growth and plant and animal life this century, will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy over the next 12 years; and

WHEREAS, on November 23, 2018, 13 United States federal agencies issued the Fourth National Climate Assessment detailing the massive threat that climate change poses to the American economy and highlighting the need for immediate emergency action by every level of government to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; and

WHEREAS, the Fourth National Climate Assessment further indicates death and destruction as the result of global warming of approximately 1.1 °C above century levels, and demonstrates that the Earth is already too hot for humanity to safely and justly exist, as shown by increased and intensifying wildfires, floods, rising seas, diseases, droughts and extreme weather; and

WHEREAS, 40 mayors in the greater San Francisco Bay Area have committed to adopt, honor, and uphold the Paris Agreement, noting, “We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy … The world cannot wait – and neither will we”; and

 

WHEREAS, the United States has disproportionately contributed to the climate and extinction emergencies (see the Global Carbon Project’s Cumulative CO2 emissions data) and has repeatedly obstructed global efforts to transition toward a green economy, and thus bears an extraordinary responsibility to rapidly address these existential threats; and

WHEREAS, restoring a safe and stable climate requires a whole-of-society “Climate Mobilization” at all levels of government, on a scale not seen since World War II, in order to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors at emergency speed, and to rapidly and safely draw down or remove all the excess carbon from the atmosphere; and

WHEREAS, actions to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and/or draw down greenhouse gases may include improving resilience to the effects of climate change; and

WHEREAS, in the County of Santa Cruz, transportation contributes to over half of our carbon emissions, according to the County’s Climate Action Strategy; and

WHEREAS, the County of Santa Cruz is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise, coastal erosion, flooding, salt water intrusion, drought, wildfire, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events; and

WHEREAS, as cited by the Climate Mobilization Project, a growing list of cities, districts and counties across the world, representing over 15 million people collectively, have declared or officially acknowledged the existence of a global climate emergency, including the California cities of Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Richmond; and

WHEREAS, many scientific studies, such as those published by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Carbon Cycle Institute, and the California Climate & Agriculture Network, have shown thatchanges in farming methods (Climate­ Smart Agriculture) can increase fertility, water retention and significantly improve long term carbon sequestration in the soil; and

WHEREAS, the County of Santa Cruz has an opportunity to continue to be a global leader by rapidly organizing a regional emergency climate mobilization effort; and

WHEREAS, both the 4th California Climate Change Assessment report, published August 27,2018, and the lntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change. (IPCC) report, published October 8,2018, stress that climate change is accelerating, and urgent action is needed.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz declares that an existential climate emergency threatens our cities, towns, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to consider revisions to its existing policy, priorities, processes, and distribution of resources to enable emergency climate action measures in the County.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to develop a Socially and Environmentally Responsible Governance Policy including an

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy to guide efficient, consistent and just action.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to reducing auto dependency through a robust Transportation Demand Management program, and other measures as appropriate.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to support both affordable housing and transit-oriented development.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to funding an update to its Climate Action Plan, and consider ambitious but achievable goals, consistent with or exceeding state goals and objectives, integrated into a state-of-the-art Climate and Energy Action Plan 2030.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to continue educating our residents about the climate emergency and working to catalyze a just emergency climate mobilization at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels to protect our residents as well as all the people and species of the world.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz realizes the need for full community participation and support, and recognizes that the residents of Santa Cruz, the University of California Santa Cruz, the Citizens Climate Lobby, Santa Cruz Climate Action Network, 350 Santa Cruz, Campaign for Sustainable Transportation and other community organizations will be integral to the emergency climate action mobilization effort.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz commits to keeping the considerations of vulnerable communities central to all emergency climate action planning processes, and to inviting and encouraging such communities to actively participate in order to advocate directly for their needs.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz, in order to ensure a just transition, will consult with community, labor, environmental justice, economic justice, and racial justice organizations at every step of the emergency climate action planning process, as appropriate.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz endorses a just, countywide emergency climate action mobilization effort to reverse global warming to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere as quickly as possible.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz calls on the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and other appropriate local agencies to participate in this regional emergency climate action mobilization effort.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Sarita Cruz calls for a regional emergency climate action mobilization collaborative effort, inviting concerned residents, youth, faith, labor, business, environmental, economic, racial and social justice organizations as well as other community groups, and all elected officials in and from Santa Cruz and nearby counties, and especially all the mayors and officials who have signed on to enact the Paris Agreement.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the County of Santa Cruz shall investigate ways to support transitions to Climate Smart Agriculture, including farm management practices such as cover crop, no-till, reduced-till, mulching, compost application, conservation plantings and active stock rotation by way of education, and by providing information on available State and Federal conservation grants and incentives.

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz, State of California, this 29th day of January, 2019, by the following vote: