Green New Deal Climate Emergency Resolution

What follows is a draft resolution for organizations, elected officials, and individuals to use in order to bring local, regional, and state governments into the Climate Emergency Movement and support national action. YOU are invited to use it! You can modify and customize, but please do not lessen the urgency or speed of the transition.



WHEREAS, on April 22, 2016, world leaders from 175 countries recognized the threat of climate change and the urgent need to combat it by signing the Paris Agreement, agreeing to keep warming “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C,” which is in itself not safe for humanity;

WHEREAS, on October 8, 2018, the United Nations released a special report, criticized by many leading climate scientists as overly conservative, which projected that limiting warming to the unsafe 1.5°C target this century will require an unprecedented transformation of every sector of the global economy over the next 12 years;

WHEREAS, on November 23, 2018 the Federal Government issued a climate study detailing the massive threat that climate change poses to the American economy and underscoring the need for immediate climate emergency action at all levels of government;

WHEREAS, the death and destruction already wrought by global warming of approximately 1.1°C above late 19th century levels demonstrates that the Earth is already too hot for safety and justice as attested by increased and intensifying wildfires, floods, rising seas, diseases, droughts and extreme weather;

WHEREAS, climate change and the global economy’s overshoot of ecological limits are driving the sixth mass extinction of species, which has caused a 60% decline in global wildlife populations since 1970, could devastate much of life on Earth for the next 10 million years, and may pose as great a risk to humanity as climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services;

WHEREAS, the United States of America has disproportionately contributed to the climate and extinction emergencies and has repeatedly obstructed global efforts to transition toward a green economy, and thus bears an extraordinary responsibility to rapidly address these existential threats;

WHEREAS, restoring a safe and stable climate requires a whole-of-society “Climate Mobilization” at all levels of government on a scale not seen since World War II to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors at emergency speed, to rapidly and safely drawdown or remove all the excess carbon from the atmosphere, to end the 6th mass extinction of species, and to implement measures to protect all people and species from the increasingly severe consequences of climate change;

WHEREAS, to address the nation’s urgent climate change needs and impacts Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has proposed a “Green New Deal”

WHEREAS, the proposed Green New Deal would be a sweeping overhaul of the economy that centers equity and justice in its solutions and has the following goals:

  1. Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources;

  2. building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;

  3. upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;

  4. eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from  the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;

  5. eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;

  6. funding massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases;

  7. making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.

WHEREAS, the term “Just Transition” is a framework for a fair shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable, and just for all its members;

WHEREAS, Just Transition strategies were first forged by a “blue-green” alliance of labor unions and environmental justice groups who saw the need to phase out the industries that were harming workers, community health, and the planet, while also providing just pathways for workers into new livelihoods;

WHEREAS, Just Transition initiatives shift the economy from dirty energy to energy democracy, from funding new highways to expanding public transit, from incinerators and landfills to zero waste products, from industrial food systems to food sovereignty, from car-dependent sprawl and destructive unbridled growth to smart urban development without displacement and from destructive over-development to habitat and ecosystem restoration;

WHEREAS, core to a Just Transition is equity, self-determination, culture, tradition, deep democracy, and the belief that people around the world have a fundamental human right to clean, healthy and adequate air, water, land, food, education, healthcare, and shelter;

WHEREAS, marginalized populations in [CITY/COUNTY] and worldwide, including people of color, immigrants, indigenous communities, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities, and the unhoused are already disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change, and will continue to bear an excess burden as temperatures increase, oceans rise, and disasters worsen;

WHEREAS, building a society that is resilient to the current, expected, and potential effects of climate change will protect health, lives, ecosystems, and economies, and such resilience efforts will have the greatest positive impact if the most dramatic potential consequences of climate change are taken into account;

WHEREAS, justice calls for climate resilience that addresses the specific experiences, vulnerabilities, and needs of marginalized communities within our jurisdiction, who must be included and supported in actively engaging in climate resilience planning, policy, and actions;

WHEREAS, actions to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and/or drawdown greenhouse gases may be taken in ways that also improve resilience to the effects of climate change, and vice versa;

WHEREAS, justice requires that frontline communities, which have historically borne the brunt of the extractive fossil-fuel economy, participate actively in the planning and implementation of this mobilization effort at all levels of government and that they benefit first from the transition to a renewable energy economy;

WHEREAS, fairness demands the protection and expansion of workers’ right to organize as well as a guarantee of high-paying, high-quality jobs with comprehensive benefits for all and many other tenets of a Green New Deal effort as the mobilization to restore a safe climate is launched;

WHEREAS, common sense demands that this unprecedented mobilization effort address the full suite of existential ecological threats facing humanity in a comprehensive, integrated and timely fashion;

WHEREAS, a growing list of cities, districts and counties across the world representing over 15 million people collectively have recently declared or officially acknowledged the existence of a global climate emergency, including Berkeley, Hoboken, Los Angeles, Montgomery County, Oakland, Richmond, and Santa Cruz in the United States; Ballarat, Byron Shire, Darebin, Moreland, Vincent, Victoria Park and Yarra in Australia; and Bristol, Frome, London, Stroud, the Forest of Dean and Totnes in the United Kingdom;

WHEREAS, [CITY/COUNTY] can act as a global leader by both converting to an ecologically, socially, and economically regenerative economy at emergency speed, and by rapidly organizing a regional just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort;


[CITY/COUNTY] declares that a climate emergency threatens our city, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to a citywide just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort to reverse global warming, which, with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from [COUNTY], State and Federal authorities, ends citywide greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible and no later than 2030, immediately initiates an effort to safely draw down carbon from the atmosphere, and accelerates adaptation and resilience strategies in preparation for intensifying climate impacts;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to calling on higher levels of government to provide all necessary financial and regulatory assistance in support of its efforts to end citywide greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible and no later than 2030, to draw down greenhouse gases, and to accelerate adaptation and resilience strategies;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to educating our residents about the climate emergency and organizing and advocating for a just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels to provide maximum protection for our residents as well as all the people and species of the world;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to take immediate actions to safeguard against the inevitable and potential consequences of climate change through climate resilience efforts at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels, and to invite the full participation of all communities in climate resilience efforts, including those communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to coordinating its mobilization to restore a safe climate with its initiatives to increase climate resilience, in ways that best use available physical and economic resources and the energies and efforts of [CITY/COUNTY]’s staff, residents, advocates, and allies;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] underscores the need for full community participation, inclusion, and support, and recognizes that the residents of [CITY/COUNTY] and community organizations, faith, youth, labor, business, academic institutions, homeowners’ associations, and environmental, economic, racial, gender, family and disability justice and indigenous, immigrant and women’s rights organizations and other such allies who will be integral to and in the leadership of the mobilization effort;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to keeping the concerns of vulnerable communities central to all just transition and climate emergency mobilization planning processes and to inviting and encouraging such communities to actively participate in order to advocate directly for their needs;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] commits to organizing a regional just transition and climate emergency mobilization collaborative effort focused on transforming our region and rapidly catalyzing a mobilization at all levels of government to restore a safe climate;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [CITY/COUNTY] calls on the State of [STATE], the United States Federal Government, and all governments and peoples worldwide to initiate an immediate social and economic mobilization to reverse global warming and ecological overshoot that restores near pre-industrial global average temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations, immediately halts the development of all new fossil fuel infrastructure, rapidly phases out the use of fossil fuels and the technologies which rely upon them, ends greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, initiates an effort to safely draw down the excess carbon from the atmosphere, transitions to regenerative agriculture, ends the sixth mass extinction of species, protects and expands workers’ right to organize, and creates and guarantees high-quality, high-paying jobs with comprehensive benefits for all those who will be impacted by this emergency response;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the [CITY/COUNTY] Council directs the [OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE ANALYSIS] to work with the [OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION AND PERSONNEL] to report back within 60 days on the establishment of a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department that would serve as a hub for organizing this social and economic mobilization effort and with all necessary powers to plan and coordinate all of the [CITY’S/COUNTY’S] climate and resilience responses, including emergency climate mitigation, resilience, adaptation, engagement, education, advocacy, and research and development programs, beginning with a robust climate emergency public education and stakeholder outreach process that includes [EXISTING SUSTAINABILITY STAFF, IF ANY], biologists, ecologists and climate scientists, social and environmental justice advocates, local labor unions and union federations, local Non-Governmental Organizations, neighborhood councils, homeowners’ associations, and business groups;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the [CITY/COUNTY] Council directs that an all-staff meeting be held to educate [CITY/COUNTY] staff on the latest climate science and the emergency mobilization needed in response within two weeks of the date of this resolution;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the [CITY/COUNTY] Council directs all [CITY/COUNTY] Departments, proprietaries, and commissions to report back within 30 days of the date of the all-staff meeting referenced above on maximum emergency reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from their operations feasible by the end of 2030;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the [CITY/COUNTY] Council directs the [DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING] to report back on opportunities for radical greenhouse gas and co-pollutant emissions reductions and greenhouse gas drawdown opportunities through updates to the [CITY/COUNTY GENERAL PLAN] and [COMMUNITY PLAN], including metrics that prioritize climate-adaptive land use planning;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the [CITY/COUNTY] Council directs the [CITY/COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER] and [EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT] to report back on opportunities and funding to address climate and environmental emergencies and mitigation through existing hazard mitigation programs;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the [CITY/COUNTY] Council directs the [CITY/COUNTY CLERK] to work with the [EXISTING SUSTAINABILITY STAFF, IF ANY] to include greenhouse gas and co-pollutant impact statements and greenhouse gas and co-pollutant reduction and greenhouse gas drawdown statements in all relevant Council motions, much as it currently includes fiscal impact statements;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, with the concurrence of the Mayor, [CITY/COUNTY] hereby includes in its 2019 and 2020 Federal Legislative Program support for A Green New Deal to respond to the climate emergency and related legislation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in furtherance of this resolution, the [CITY/COUNTY]  shall submit a certified copy of this resolution to [NAME FEDERAL, STATE, REGIONAL, COUNTY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, RELEVANT AGENCIES] and request that all relevant support and assistance in effectuating this resolution be provided.