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Portland City Council Endorses Young Activists' Climate Emergency Resolution

Robbie Feinberg
Maine Public/file
Climate activists stage 'strike' on steps of Portland City Hall Sept. 20, 2019.

Portland's City Council voted unanimously Monday to adopt a resolution declaring a climate emergency. The resolution was put forth by youth leaders concerned for their future.The resolution echoes portions of the “One Climate Future” action plan under development in Portland and South Portland.

At Monday's council meeting, young supporters expressed their concerns about the effects of climate change, and stressed the symbolic importance of acknowledging a climate crisis.

"My name is Lillian Hubbard. I'm from Cape Neddick. Warm waters will drive our lobsters north to Canada, and our fishery will suffer, as well as leaving lobstermen out of jobs."

"My name is Anna Siegel. I am 13 years old. Right here, right now, we are talking about whether I will have a future or not."

"My name is Jess Valero and I'm 22 years old. There are over 11,000 local governments who have declared a climate emergency, and that's immense progress. However, much more is needed, and our fate is in your hands. Where Maine goes, there goes the nation."

The climate emergency resolution supports the aggressive pursuit of carbon neutrality and a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

In adopting the resolution, Portland joins cities throughout the country acknowledging a climate emergency.