On the heels of a global climate strike that saw nearly 8 million people take to the streets, Belfast’s City Council has backed a motion to declare a climate emergency.
“We face an existential threat to our planet and to humanity,” said councilor Matt Collins. “We must act now to thwart the worst effects of catastrophic climate change.”
The motion was unopposed during Tuesday’s council meeting. Belfast joins two other Northern Irish cities in declaring a climate emergency.
Following the declaration, the council agreed to draft a report that would assess different climate disaster situations and how they could impact Belfast’s infrastructure. The report will also analyze how decarbonizing the city might affect the local economy.
The move was applauded by SDLP councilor Séamas de Faoite.
“Action is now required from government, society, industry and business to end our addiction to fossil fuels,” said de Faoite.
“No longer can conspiracy theorists or climate deniers be allowed to prevent this action from taking place.”
Another motion has been introduced that, if passed, would require the council to become carbon-neutral “as urgently as possible.”