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Squamish may declare climate emergency

Following student strikes, council works on a motion to declare emergency
Howe Sound students Trina Fearon, left, and Annie Malpass. Photo by Steven Chua

In the wake of global student climate strikes, Squamish moves a step closer to declaring a climate emergency.

After hearing a presentation from Howe Sound Secondary students Trina Fearon and Annie Malpass, council voted unanimously in favour of preparing a motion to declare a climate emergency. This motion will be voted on at a later date.

Coun. Chris Pettingill proposed the idea.

"We have a lot of work to do... It sets that tone," he said.

"I think the voices of this next generation need to be elevated," said Mayor Karen Elliott. "This is the planet they will inherit."

During their appearance before council, Fearon and Malpass listed the demands they and other youths made at the recent global student climate strike.

This included an emergency plan for climate justice, emissions reductions, measures to encourage renewable energy, environmental rights, Indigenous rights and biodiversity, among other things.

Should Squamish declare a climate emergency, it will be following in the footsteps of others. For instance, the federal House of Commons recently made such a declaration.