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Convention Resolution: Climate Emergency

During the 2019 LWVOR Convention delegates voted to adopt the following climate resolution: 

Be it resolved that we as delegates of Oregon local Leagues assembled at the 2019 LWVOR Convention call upon the LWVOR Board, Action Committee and local Leagues to advocate for consideration of “Climate Emergency Declarations” for the state and all county and local municipalities (governments).

Read the formal statement regarding this resolution:

Whereas on October 8, 2018, the United Nations released a special report that projected that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy over the next 12 years; and

Whereas this report has been criticized by many leading climate scientists as overly conservative as the target rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature will lead to catastrophic global changes; and

Whereas on November 23, 2018, the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment was issued, which detailed the massive threat that climate change poses to the American economy and underscored the need for emergency climate action at all levels of government; and

Whereas the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification include increasingly devastating wildfires, communities overwhelmed by smoke, drinking water compromised by algal blooms, a rise in sea levels resulting in flooding and the displacement of thousands of coastal businesses and residences, damage to marine ecosystems and food sources, extreme weather events, severe harm to this state’s agriculture, forestry and tourism industries, and introduction of new vectors for infectious disease, increased asthma and other human health-related problems; and

Whereas climate change has a disproportionate effect on fish and wildlife populations, many of which require specific habitat conditions and are therefore particularly vulnerable to warmer temperatures, modified precipitation patterns, diminished snowpack, ocean acidification and other effects of climate change; and

Whereas climate change and the global economy’s overshoot of ecological limits are driving the sixth mass extinction of species, causing a 60 percent decline in global wildlife populations since 1970, could devastate much of life on Earth for the next 10 million years and posing as great a risk to humanity as climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; and

Whereas one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction according to a sweeping new United Nations report (May 6 2019); and

Whereas the death and destruction already wrought by global warming of approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius above late 19th century levels demonstrates that Earth is already too hot for safety and justice; and

Whereas climate change has a disproportionate effect on impacted communities, such as indigenous tribes, rural communities, coastal communities, workers, low-income households and people of color, who typically have fewer resources for adapting to climate change and are therefore the most vulnerable to displacement, adverse health effects, job loss, property damage and other effects of climate change; and

Whereas the world’s leading climate scientists, including those in the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, predict that these serious impacts of climate change will worsen if prompt action is not taken to curb emissions; and

Whereas Our Children’s Trust May 9 press release; “Groundbreaking Report Shows the United States Can Lead the Way Toward Climate Recovery Without Economic Hardship – The Report Details the Technically and Economically Feasible Pathways for a U.S. Transition Off of Fossil Fuels…. It is the first analysis completed in the United States to provide a detailed roadmap for placing all sectors of the U.S. energy system on a emissions path consistent with returning global atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm by 2100, which means global heating of 1 degree Celsius, not 2.”; and

Whereas restoring a safe and stable climate requires a “climate mobilization” at all levels of government on a scale not seen since World War II to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions; and

Whereas in the absence of effective federal engagement, it is the responsibility of the individual states, counties and cities deemed to be the laboratories of progress, to take immediate leadership actions to address climate change;

Therefore, be it resolved, we as delegates of Oregon local Leagues assembled at the 2019 LWVOR Convention, call upon the LWVOR Board, Action Committee and local Leagues to advocate for consideration of “Climate Emergency Declarations” for the state and all county and local municipalities (governments).