MONTCLAIR, NJ – On Wednesday, Essex County Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill announced that a resolution he introduced asserting Essex County’s commitment to combating climate change and support of the Paris Climate Accord unanimously passed the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders at their most recent meeting.
“The time to protect our communities from the dangerous effects of climate change is now,” said Gill. “President Trump’s extremely shortsighted decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord could jeopardize American jobs, our national security, and our environment. The United States should stand as a leader in the global fight against climate change, not pander to a fringe group of climate deniers. We must remain committed on the local level to pursuing strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our environment for future generations.”
Freeholder Gill has long been an advocate of protecting Essex County’s environment and the health of residents, including ushering the passage of a resolution prohibiting smoking in Essex County Parks. Gill also sponsored a resolution passed by the Freeholder Board that prioritized the enforcement of state anti-idling laws to promote a smog-free environment and preserve a high standard of air quality for Essex County residents.
The full resolution is as follows:
RESOLUTION AFFIRMING ESSEX COUNTY'S COMMITMENT TO THE PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD, ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
WHEREAS, consensus exists among the world's leading climate scientists that we a face major global climate crisis caused by greenhouse gas emissions, with rising sea levels and melting ice sheets creating increasingly unpredictable and unhealthy living environments as we approach a dangerous threshold of global warming; and
WHEREAS, documented impacts of global warming include, but are not limited to, increased occurrences of extreme weather events, significant impacts to human health and safety, destruction of ecosystems and reduced economic productivity; and
WHEREAS, in 2015, all but two countries signed the United Nations Paris Climate Accord ("Paris Accord"), a historic international agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions, slowing rising global temperatures, and helping countries deal with the effects of climate change; and
WHEREAS, signatories to the Paris Accord committed to enact programs to limit global temperature increase to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an expectation that this goal would be reduced to one and a half degrees in the future; and
WHEREAS, the United States ratified the Paris Accord on September 3, 2016 and committed to its own target of reducing carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025; and
WHEREAS, on June 1, 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord despite the dire consequences of the planet's rising temperatures and opposition from communities across the country and world; and,
WHEREAS, the United States' withdrawal could result in an additional three billion tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere each year, and an additional increase of as much as 0.3 degrees Celsius in global temperatures by end of the century; and
WHEREAS, the County Climate Coalition takes sharp exception to •President Trump's unilateral intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord and urges the federal government to adhere to its emissions reduction commitments under the Paris Accord; and
WHEREAS, regardless of whether the United States ultimately withdraws from the Paris Accord, the local government signatories to the County Climate Coalition Declaration intend to continue working toward meeting the United States' commitment under the Paris Accord through results-oriented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
WHEREAS, by combating climate change through renewable solar development, alternative community energy providers, enhanced waste diversion, environmentally friendly vehicles, reduction of water usage, and other local solutions, the County Climate Coalition will continue their efforts to slow the dangerous pace of global warming while advancing environmental sustainability, protecting public health and leading innovation; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders is committed to combating climate change and supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, which lays out goals and guidelines to stop, or at least slow down, global warming, and to form a national coalition of counties in support of the Paris Accord; and be it further
RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be distributed to the Clerks of each Board of Chosen Freeholders in the State of New Jersey; and Dave Cortese, President, Board of Supervisors, County of Santa Clara, CA.