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British Columbia Burnaby becomes latest Metro Vancouver city to declare a climate emergency

The City of Burnaby is the latest Metro Vancouver community to declare a climate emergency and announce plans to deliver carbon neutrality within the next 30 years.

Councillors voted Monday to commit to new carbon emission targets, with a goal of cutting the gases by 45 per cent over the next 10 years.

A statement from the city says council has pledged a 75-per-cent reduction by 2040 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

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Burnaby says it is now aligned with the International Panel on Climate Change target limiting global temperature rise to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The non-profit group, Force of Nature Alliance, says seven other Vancouver-area cities and districts, as well as the Metro Vancouver regional board have also declared climate emergencies.

Across B.C., more than two dozen cities, towns and districts, including the City of Victoria, Town of Smithers and Regional District of Central Kootenay, have backed climate-emergency motions since the start of the year.

Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley says a warming climate endangers everything from the local economy to the well being of citizens.

“Transitioning to carbon neutrality will enhance our environmental health, resilience and sustainability,” Mr. Hurley said in the statement.

The Climate Emergency Declaration movement began in Australia in 2016 and its website says 990 jurisdictions in 18 countries have joined, a leap of nearly 250 jurisdictions since early July.

Canada’s House of Commons declared a climate emergency in June and almost 450 local governments across Canada are also listed on the climate emergency website.

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