November 3rd, 2020
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
Re: RTS No. 13199
For Our Kids Vancouver Support for the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP)
We write to you to express our support for the CEAP on behalf of our children and grandchildren. Our request is that CEAP is approved by Council and funding of its implementation prioritized at the City of Vancouver as we are in a climate crisis.
Who We Are
We are a grassroots group of Vancouver parents and grandparents who have come together for the sole purpose of undertaking collective action to address the climate crisis for our kids. We have nearly 200 subscribers in the Vancouver area and are part of the For Our Kids national network composed of similar local grassroots parents’ groups across the country.
Our members share in common deep fears of the impacts of the climate emergency on the quality of life of our kids, now and into the future. We also share in common our resolution to take action to slow global warming in alignment with IPCC recommendations.
We are non-partisan. We engage all levels of government. This has included hosting a Virtual Town Hall on a Green and Just Recovery in July 2020 with Councillor Boyle and Indigenous, federal and provincial representatives.
We Must Seek to Avoid the Significant Impacts of the Climate Crisis on Our Kids
There is no doubt that we are already seeing the significant and harmful impacts of the climate crisis on the quality of life of our kids. The intolerable and toxic air quality in Vancouver from massive wildfires in the US for over a week last summer is one clear example. Our children should not be locked up inside during their summer holidays because the air outside is unbreathable. Our children deserve better than this and the other predicted impacts of climate breakdown: extreme weather; increased droughts and flooding, food insecurity and global conflict etc.
It is unacceptable to knowingly expose our children to a bleak future because we are unwilling to take appropriate action now. We must prioritize human and planetary health over material wealth.
Fear of Change is Only Natural but Covid-19 Has Shown Us There is a Better Way of Life
As parents, we understand that CEAP’s “Big Move” actions may feel scary. We believe that no meaningful change or transition happens without fear and resistance at first.
However, we must apply the lessons we have learned from the Covid-19 crisis that have shown us:
- There are better ways to do things than the way things have been done.
- We are all in this together.
- We are highly resilient in responding to crisis and can adapt to change.
- We can live healthier lives by slowing down and forming community.
- Our kids have told us they are #Notgoingback and it is our duty as parents to fulfill their aspirations (See Climate Strike Canada’s September 25, 2020 Global Day of Action campaign).
We Support Equity Focus and Incidental Benefits of Big Move Actions in Transportation Sector
We welcome the significant benefits of CEAP’s actions in the transportation sector, in addition to the significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including:
- Using public spaces more efficiently than road use;
- Encouraging more diverse and serviced communities;
- Encouraging increased exercise and activity for improved physical and mental health;
- Reducing carcinogenic and other harmful air pollutants that cause significant health impacts;
- Bringing people together to support social networks crucial in time of crisis.
We are optimistic that CEAP’s actions in transportation will achieve Council’s sustainable transportation target that ⅔ of all trips in Vancouver will be by foot, bike or transit by 2030, which we also support.
We support and highly encourage the emphasis on equity focused factors in determining varying rates of transportation pricing and parking permits. It is clear that affordability in this city is a significant issue for a large proportion of residents. Without ensuring all residents have their basic needs met, we will be unable to gain support for the actions necessary to tackle the climate crisis. In this regard, adequate funding and priority must be directed towards improving access throughout the city to pedestrian bike and transit routes. It is important that we build up those areas of transportation so that people are willing to get out of their cars in response to increased costs imposed on vehicle traffic by CEAP.
This is Council’s Chance
We thank the Mayor and Council for empowering staff to prepare and recommend real climate action plans in CEAP for Council’s consideration. On behalf of our kids, many who are too young to even understand the severity of the situation that awaits them with climate breakdown, we urge Council to approve CEAP (RTS No. 13199). Our children deserve every bit of your commitment to bold climate action. As parents, we thank you and welcome the collective sigh of relief we will take when CEAP is approved knowing that real climate action is starting to accelerate here in Vancouver, for our kids.
Thank you for your time in considering our thoughts and concerns.