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Burnaby becomes latest B.C. city to declare a climate emergency

FILE PHOTO: The Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock is seen in Burnaby, B.C., on Nov. 25, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

British Columbia’s third-largest city has become the latest municipality to declare a climate emergency.

Burnaby city councillors unanimously endorsed the declaration at a meeting on Monday.

The city has also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, with a targeted 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and a 75 per cent reduction by 2040.

“A warming climate endangers everything, from our local economy to the well-being of our citizens,” said Mayor Mike Hurley in a statement.

“Transitioning to carbon neutrality will enhance our environmental health, resilience and sustainability.”

The city says the move aligns Burnaby with the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) goal to hold global temperature increases to 1.5 C.

The IPCC’s 2018 report says emissions must be cut by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to avoid severe climate change impacts.

Burnaby city staff have now been directed to draw up a policy framework including “big moves” and “fast track actions” to curb carbon emissions.

The move sees Burnaby join more than 600 other municipal governments around the world, including Vancouver, in declaring climate emergencies.

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