Canada: CEMA chief skeptical about Calgary declaring 'climate emergency' - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada CEMA chief skeptical about Calgary declaring 'climate emergency'

10:13  10 october  2019
10:13  10 october  2019 Source:   calgaryherald.com

"Over my dead body": Little interest in declaring state of climate emergency among Calgary Councillors

  Calgary councillors aren’t eager to follow in the footsteps of two other Alberta municipalities in formally declaring a climate emergency. Early last week, Canmore town council voted unanimously to declare a state of climate emergency, recognizing the serious global effects resulting from climate change. Edmonton council also voted in favour of the declaration as part of its urgent response to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When asked if there Early last week, Canmore town council voted unanimously to declare a state of climate emergency, recognizing the serious global effects resulting from climate change.

Climate emergency declarations in 1,087 jurisdictions and local governments cover 266 million citizens. LOCAL GOVERNMENTS On the list below are only included jurisdictions that have passed a binding motion declaring a climate emergency .

A climate emergency declaration or climate emergency plan, declaring a state of climate emergency , has been issued since 2016 by some countries and other administrations to set priority

a man wearing a uniform: Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson speaks to the media in this July 2018 file photo. © Gavin Young Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson speaks to the media in this July 2018 file photo.

The city’s head of emergency management said Wednesday he believes in climate change and the importance of the city responding to associated risks, but questioned the value in cities declaring a state of emergency.

A city council committee asked Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson about the matter, on the heels of such declarations issued in Canmore and Edmonton. Sampson said he sees a “bit of a bandwagon” occurring in other jurisdictions.

“I think we have to ask ourselves what we’re looking for out of declaring an emergency, if we ever do,” said Sampson. “I suppose I’m biased in the sense that if you call it an emergency, you should do something in an emergent way about it and you should be very clear about what your actions are.”

'Over my dead body': Little interest in declaring state of climate emergency in Calgary

  'Over my dead body': Little interest in declaring state of climate emergency in Calgary Calgary councillors aren’t eager to follow in the footsteps of two other Alberta municipalities in formally declaring a climate emergency. Early last week, Canmore town council voted unanimously to declare a state of climate emergency, recognizing the serious global effects resulting from climate change. Edmonton council also voted in favour of the declaration as part of its urgent response to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When asked if there Early last week, Canmore town council voted unanimously to declare a state of climate emergency, recognizing the serious global effects resulting from climate change.

What is CEMA ? The Calgary Emergency Management Agency ( CEMA ) plans and coordinates Calgary 's Municipal Emergency Plan (MEP) outlines the structure and decision making process that The Chief of CEMA opens the EOC during a disaster or major emergency and it acts as The City's

• Demanding that governments declare a climate emergency as a public signal indicating that governments and society will be mobilised in emergency mode • Demanding a climate mobilisation of sufficient scale and speed to protect everything we want to protect. War-time mobilisation examples

Sampson also pointed out that Calgary is already taking action in response to climate change. The chief said he is a member of a municipal climate panel that meets quarterly and includes academics, electricity and utility companies, and staff from various departments, including environment, utilities, waste and recycling.

“We should be all very concerned. But whether or not that’s an emergency? At this point in time, I’m unsure,” he said.

Sampson said when it comes to natural disasters, declaring an official state of local emergency must be carefully justified since it entails significant powers for authorities to call for evacuations and control travel, take control of properties, procure or fix prices for goods and supplies, and conscript people to help out.

Calgary climate protesters skip major traffic disruption, hand out Timbits instead

  Calgary climate protesters skip major traffic disruption, hand out Timbits instead In stark contrast with other demonstrations across Canada Monday, members of Calgary's Extinction Rebellion protest didn't cause a significant stir.Dozens of protesters waited for traffic lights to turn red at the Louise Bridge before walking into the crosswalk, handing out Timbits to appease stopped drivers along with pamphlets advocating their message. The protestors largely retreated as soon as the light turned green.

Call to declare a climate emergency . Take action LATEST NEWS. We call on our elected leaders to declare a climate emergency and initiate a society-wide mobilisation.

National Climate Emergency Declaration petition (Vote Climate ). The Australian Parliament must declare a climate emergency . It’s the first step in mobilising government and community resources and funds that are not normally available.

a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background:  The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary is submerged during the 2013 flood. © Stuart Dryden The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary is submerged during the 2013 flood.

He also questioned what concrete actions are actually taking place in jurisdictions that have made climate emergency declarations.

The emergency management agency has identified climate change as a significant risk to the city. Eight of the top 13 disaster risks for Calgary identified in 2018 are directly affected by a changing climate, the agency says. Those risks include catastrophic flooding on the Bow and Elbow rivers, major drought and severe storms.

City staff have fielded internal inquiries about the possibility of declaring a climate emergency from at least one city council member, though a number of others have also publicly come out strongly in opposition to the idea.

Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who sits on the emergency management committee, said it’s important not to equivocate on language when talking about the work of the city’s emergency and crisis responders.

“Because when they talk about emergency, they’re talking about a period of interruption in which the rules that we normally play by get suspended,” said Carra.

The Ward 9 council member said a climate emergency declaration from a Canadian municipality is a “symbolic gesture” — but added that he’d still be open to having the debate at city council.

“The problem with a climate emergency (is) that it’s a long emergency — and an emergency is an immediate thing,” said Carra. “I think it’s important to understand the words we’re using.”

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Twitter: @mpotkins

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Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has followed through on her pledge to visit the heartland of Canada's oil and gas industry, showing up in downtown Calgary on Wednesday and planning to join a climate strike at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Friday. The Swedish teen — who founded the Fridays For Future climate strikes that have galvanized youths around the world — was spotted on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary on Wednesday morning. She told a Radio-Canada reporter who saw her that she had no public events planned in Calgary and would travel to Edmonton within hours.

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