Carrboro Climate Change Resolution

On December 8, 2009 the Board of Alderman unanimously passed a resolution on climate change. We asked Sammy Slade of Transition Carrboro - Chapel Hill to give some context to this step in addressing climate change issues and here is his response.

Thank you for inquiring about the resolution that Carrboro passed last Tuesday.  I was recently elected to the Carrboro Board of Alderman and this was the first resolution that I brought to the board.  I was pleasantly surprised when the Board of Alderman passed it unanimously and to me this confirmed the kind of responsibility that Carrboro has as a model of what other municipalities can achieve.  The fact that the local government could pass this bold and necessary resolution --necessary if we are to have a livable future-- is further testimony to what Carrboro is; a town with the representation necessary to heed to the biggest challenge of our era and to understand that this is as much a local issue as it is a global one.

Though Transition Carrboro and Chapel Hill did not write this resolution, I am proud to say that I have been in tune with the Transition Movement ever since the Kinsale days.  I have been an active member of the local Transition Carrboro and Chapel Hill since it's inception. And it is because of my involvement in organizing with local sustainability organizations such as Transition Carrboro-Chapel Hill, that I am known by the Carrboro community and getting elected to the Board of Alderman was possible.

I know that to actually achieve what is called for in this resolution the community has to organize and come together. I believe that the Transition Towns process is the best way to achieve this in a manner that is both positive and empowering. Because the work of transitioning is so enormous, this resolution can only be a statement of resolve or intention; it really 'will take a village' to make it real! This is why Transition initiatives are so important.

Thank you for the work you are doing on the national level.


Sammy Slade
member Carrboro Board of Aldermen

P.S. Please forward this resolution to all Transition initiatives as I believe it is a good template from which other communities can express their resolve. Thanks.


The resolution:

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WHEREAS, If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less that.

WHEREAS, to achieve the 350 ppm target, scientists have calculated that the major industrialized nations need to cut their CO2 emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020

WHEREAS, the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit  (December 7-18) is the UN meeting and deadline for preventing dangerous global warming.

WHEREAS, the Obama administration in Copenhagen is expected to offer a promise the equivalent of 4% CO2 emissions cut from 1990 levels by 2020.

WHEREAS, the climate bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as legislation currently pending in the Senate, would eliminate EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act to designate greenhouse gases as criteria air pollutants and to set a cap on such emissions.

WHEREAS, International and National scales of governance are failing to be responsible and to take the necessary action to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the town of Carrboro  commits to taking responsibility in a socially just manner for its share of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,  the Town of Carrboro will seek, and will facilitate the community at large, to cut CO2 emissions by it's proportion of the amount which is required to stabilize the climate back to less than 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere in time for a 90% probability for success as defined by the most up to date scientific consensus.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be referred to staff for further evaluation of what measures will be needed to achieve this target for the Town of Carrboro and the community at large.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the town of Carrboro will make a formal request to all the County commissioners, Representative Verla Insko, Representative Bill Faison, Speaker of the House Joe Hackney, N.C. Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Congressman David Price, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, U.S. Senator Richard Burr, and President Barack Obama, to take any and all necessary actions required to facilitate for Carrboro the achievement of the responsible ambition to combat Climate Change in time for a 90% probability for success as defined by the most up to date scientific consensus.

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