The Portland 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.
The Town Council in Bar Harbor is expected to consider a similar resolution when it meets Tuesday night.
In adopting the resolution, Portland joins cities throughout the country acknowledging a climate emergency.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public. BDN reporter Bill Trotter contributed to this report.