March 9, 2010

RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA EMBRACES 350 PPM, WILL YOUR CITY BE NEXT?

On February 2, 2010, the Richmond City Council passed a 350 CITIES RESOLUTION which recognizes 350 ppm CO2 as the sensible limit to prevent catastrophic climate change.  The resolution was sponsored by Vice Mayor Dr. Jeff Ritterman, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Councilmember Jim Rogers.

Given the lack of national leadership on lessening climate change, Vice Mayor Ritterman decided to take action on the local level.  The Richmond resolution recognizes 350 and commits the city to a series of educational presentations.  The city will work with the school district, the neighborhood councils and the Council of Industries to begin a city-wide effort to help everyone understand the necessity of adopting the 350 standard.  In addition, the city will organize a series of meetings to enlist broad based participation in the creation of a Climate Action Plan.

Vice Mayor Ritterman hopes that other cities will follow suit.  Can your city be next?  Can 350 cities adopt the 350 standard by this time next year?

Here is the Richmond 350 Resolution.  Feel free to modify it for your city.

RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND , CALIFORNIA

IN RECOGNITION OF 350 PPM CO2 AS THE SENSIBLE LIMIT TO PREVENT

EXTREME CLIMATE CHANGE

WHEREAS, the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 387 ppm; and,

WHEREAS, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Dr. James Hansen stated in 2007 : “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350ppm” and;

WHEREAS, there is a growing consensus among researchers that there is a need to get atmospheric concentrations of CO2 down below 350 ppm as soon as possible or risk self amplifying feedbacks that will result in abrupt, catastrophic, and irreversible heating of the earth and;

WHEREAS, annually, global warming is causing more deaths than ten times the number of people killed from the events of 911; and,

WHEREAS, failure to limit CO2 to 350 ppm will likely: kill more people internationally than anything short of all out nuclear war; create a worldwide refugee crisis; impoverish more people than any economic downturn in recorded history; destroy more species than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs; and cause the inundation of coastal cities and towns which are home to one billion people; and;

WHEREAS, the world’s leaders at the December 2009 Copenhagen meetings on climate change were unable to provide world wide leadership and;

WHEREAS, the plans agreed to by the world’s nations would result in 770 ppm CO2 by 2100, a concentration of CO2 incompatible with human life and;

WHEREAS, the residents of Richmond , California have been national leaders in Environmental Justice and;

WHEREAS, the world’s leading experts on climate change state that immediate reductions in CO2 must occur this decade if we are to prevent island nations from going under water and runaway climate change and;

WHEREAS, the longer we delay, the higher the financial and environmental costs will be;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Richmond City Council on behalf of the residents of Richmond, do hereby accept 350 ppm CO2 as the sensible limit; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff and members of the City Council will work with the school district our neighborhood councils and the Council of Industries  to provide educational opportunities to teach about the necessity of adopting the 350 ppm standard; and,

BE IT ALSO FURTHER RESOLVED, the Richmond City Council directs staff to convene 3 community meetings to gain preliminary input for our Climate Action Plan (CAP) that is currently in the pre-planning stages.