Belfast joins group adhering to international climate change agreement

By Ethan Andrews | Jun 30, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews A bulkhead surrounding the Belfast Boathouse has been rebuilt twice in the past year after intense storms that some community members have attributed to shifting weather patterns caused by global climate change.

Belfast — A year after the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Belfast officials signed on with a group of local organizations that are still interested in thinking globally.

On June 12, the City Council adopted a resolution to affirm the city’s commitment to climate action and join We Are Still In, a coalition of more than 2,700 cities, states, tribes, businesses, universities, faith and cultural institutions that will continue to pursue the goals of the Paris Agreement, also known as the Paris Accord.

As a signatory to We Are Still In, Belfast will remain involved in an international effort to hold global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.

“Our city stands with communities across our nation and around the globe who recognize that climate change is real and that we must take action now to protect our communities," Mayor Samantha Paradis said.

The city has been an early adopter of clean energy sources with photovoltaic solar panels on the fire station roof and a 115-kilowatt solar-electric farm on a city landfill on Pitcher Road — the first such installation in the state. City officials expect to be using renewable sources for 90 percent of the electricity in city buildings by the end of 2018.

In an open letter, We Are Still In credits local and state governments, along with businesses, for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years.

"Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead," the letter reads, "no matter what policies Washington may adopt.”

The resolution received enthusiastic support from the city's Climate Change Committee, which was created to look into the coming effects of sea-level rise on the city, as well as the more immediate threat of storm surges, heatwaves and other extreme weather.

After a well-intentioned but rocky start, during which councilors thought the committee wanted a hand in legislating the proposed Nordic Aquafarms development, the committee is settled on a goal of "catalyz(ing) actions throughout the Belfast community for a sustainable future while adapting to climate change."

The committee expects to produce a preliminary report in September and a final report by March 2019.

Comments (1)
Posted by: from the kitchen | Jul 01, 2018 05:43

Kudos. Apparently enough Democratic votes to see this through as the GOP thinks climate change is a hoax.



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