Kalamazoo commissioners declare climate emergency

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – City commissioners in Kalamazoo have joined thousands of communities around the world to make a formal declaration of a climate emergency.

Commissioners unanimously passed the resolution in front of a full council chamber Monday evening.

The declaration, drafted by the Environmental Concerns Committee, calls for action to limit the global climate temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to prevent the most severe impacts. The committee worked with local environmental groups to draft the declaration that they brought in front of commission.

>>Inside woodtv.com: Kalamazoo Climate Emergency Declaration (pdf)

More than 1,000 local governments around the world have passed these declarations in 18 countries.

The resolution states that the impact of climate change can be seen in Kalamazoo and around the world. Every person who commented on the resolution at the meeting supported the declaration.

Denise Keele with the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition, an organization that brings together area groups concerned with global climate change, addressed commissioners, saying a declaration and immediate action is needed to address the climate crisis.

“A formal declaration of climate emergency will provide the necessary leadership to address the threat that our entire community faces, particularly to those citizens who may not yet have any idea of the threat we face or may find themselves vulnerable and impacted, but perhaps unable to participate or take individual action,” Keele said.

Commissioners pledged to follow up the resolution with real action to have an impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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