Resolution Committing Brookline to Uphold and Adhere to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
|Official Text of the Article
VOTED: That the Town adopt the following resolution:
A RESOLUTION REGARDING THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT
WHEREAS the Paris Agreement is now in force under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the United States of America is an official Party to the Paris Agreement as of 2016;
WHEREAS climate change has already imposed economic and ecological hardships on various people across the world and it poses ever-increasing hardships on the peoples of the world in the future, including the loss of livelihood and possible death;
WHEREAS the Paris Agreement states "the need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge;"
WHEREAS the Paris Agreement states "the importance of education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and cooperation at all levels on the matters addressed in this Agreement;"
WHEREAS the UNFCCC has established a NON-STATE ACTOR ZONE for Climate Action, which provides a process that states, municipalities and other entities can use as "a platform for the exchange of experiences and sharing of best practices on mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and integrated manner";
WHEREAS as of April 2017, at least 2,508 cities, towns, and communities worldwide have registered their support for the Paris Agreement on the Non-State Zone platform. This includes American cities as diverse as Anchorage, Baltimore, Berkeley, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Sacramento and Savannah; and locally Boston, Cambridge, Medford and Somerville;
WHEREAS each country signing the Paris Climate Agreement (UNFCCC) sets its own aspirational climate goals, which encourages each Non-State Actor to do the same, to be evaluated every 5 years; The Town of Brookline should set its own aspirational climate action goals for recurring evaluation;
WHEREAS, as a town of diverse and well-educated and informed citizens, Brookline is able to play a leading role relative to other cities and towns within Massachusetts and the U.S. in both mitigating and adapting to climate change;
WHEREAS the Paris Agreement requires that all parties should pursue efforts to help keep the global increase in average temperature due to human-caused climate change to no more than 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, and to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Town of Brookline:
1. Understands it to be a moral and political obligation of the Town to commit to pursue upholding and adhering to the Paris Agreement of 2015.
2. Commits to register its support for implementing the Paris Agreement on the NonState Zone platform, as other U.S. cities and towns have done.
3. Commits to file its existing 2012 Climate Action Plan as amended in 2015, which was intended to meet the objectives of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions
4. Commits to a goal of developing a revised town plan during 2018 to mitigate and adapt to human-caused climate change that may take a leading role above and beyond
5. Continue educating the citizens of Brookline about the dangers that climate change pose in both the short and long run to the world, in general, and to Massachusetts in particular. This enhanced education will, presumably, facilitate and accelerate both the voluntary and mandatory actions that the citizens of Brookline will take to help slow the rate of climate change.