The Chapel Hill Town Council joined other North Carolina municipalities in declaring a climate emergency last week.
The Town worked with community members and environmental organization Sunrise Movement Chapel Hill to revise its Climate Action and Response plan, which council members adopted at an April 7 meeting.
The Town also unanimously passed the Climate Emergency Resolution.
By doing this, the council recognized that a massive-scale mobilization effort is necessary to halt, reverse and address the consequences and causes of this emergency. The council also committed to call on other North Carolina municipalities, the state and federal government to declare a climate emergency.
“Climate change is an existential threat to all of us and while there needs to be strong action at the federal and state level, there are many things that only cities and towns can do,” council member Michael Parker said.
In September 2019, Chapel Hill Town Council adopted a resolution committing to the creation of a Climate Action and Response Plan that would outline how the community can work together to address the impacts of climate change and advance racial equity.
To achieve the revised plan, the council and John Richardson, the Town's community resilience officer, have worked with and sought feedback from community members and the Sunrise Movement Chapel Hill for the past year.
Some of the possible actions included in the plan are to create walkable and transit-served neighborhoods, to install energy upgrades in existing buildings and to enhance green infrastructure.
Parker said action to mitigate climate change will be easier with this plan in place.