It declares climate change ‘an immediate and long term threat.’
Frederick, Md (KM) A climate emergency resolution was approved Tuesday night by the Frederick County Council. The vote was 4-3 with Councilmembers Steve McKay, Phil Dacey and Michael Blue in opposition.
It declares climate change “an immediate and long term threat” to Frederick County and the world.
One of the sponsors was Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater. “We are setting goals for the county to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as well as setting up a climate emergency mobilization workgroup that will report back to the county with recommendations of best practices and priorities that we can move forward on to best reach those goals,” she said.
Councilman McKay offered amendments to the resolution which would replace the word “emergency”: with “action.” “If we continue and we call this an emergency resolution, then I’m concerned that all of those recommendations are now emergency recommendations, and the priority decision has already been made before we’ve even talked about it. And it’s all with the impremator of ‘this is an emergency. Act now.’ And I just don’t agree with that approach,” he said.
Another sponsor of the bill, Councilman Kai Hagen, didn’t want to change the wording. “This is an existential l crisis. This is the ecosystem of the entire planet. The well being of human society, public health,” he said.
McKay’s amendment was defeated.
Councilman Dacey was concerned about the membership of the climate emergency mobilization workgroup. “They’re going to attract people with views who are outside of the mainstream,” he said “Their suggestions are going to put pressure on the county to take positions that are outside of the mainstream.”
But Dacey said he does believe climate change is real and caused by human activity, and it’s a challenge we have to face. . “I have no problem with the idea that the county should be planing and preparing for climate change,” he said.
Even though she voted for the resolution, Council President MC Keegan-Ayer reminded supporters that not everyone shares their viewpoints about climate change. “There are two very distinct views on the issue of climate change, climate emergency,”; she said . “Therefore, we need to make sure we are inclusive as we move forward.
Keegan-Ayer suggested putting some of these climate change skeptics on the workgroup.
The County Council also approved amendments to the local forest resource ordinance, which requires that trees chopped down to make way for developments be replaced either on site, or at another location.
Another measure would set up a domestic violence coordinating council.
A third bill to clarify transportation, environmental resource protection and historic preservation as criteria to any rezoning request was postponed for two weeks.
By Kevin McManus