New Orleans, LA Resolution Urging Nationwide Mobilization of Renewable Energy Resources

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New Orleans, LA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 5/17/01

Vote: In Favor - 7 Opposed - 0

Source File:



WHEREAS, the American people during World War II rose up against powerful and aggressive enemies and began an extraordinary production of military materiel: guns, tanks, aircraft, munitions. This massive mobilization was a miraculous endeavor by the citizens of this country, and together with the men and women of the armed forces, comprised the foundation of victories long since celebrated; and

WHEREAS, there is now a new enemy, climate change, which poses a threat to human life and property, and challenges the quality of life of present and future generations of Americans. This powerful enemy gaining strength with each new day, has escalated its aggression, invading and harming ecosystems all over the world, threatening a mass destruction of ecosystems by mid-century; and

WHEREAS, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that the global climate is warming. The IPCC projects by the end of the 21st century an increase in global mean surface temperatures of 2.5 degrees to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to an increase in sea level between 6 and 37 inches; and

WHEREAS, the world is producing annually about 6 billion tons of carbon emissions, of which the United States is responsible for about one-fourth of global emissions. The IPCC has estimated that to maintain stable atmospheric conditions, carbon emissions must not exceed 2 billion tons per year, therefore requiring a reduction of 60 to 70% in annual carbon emissions; and

WHEREAS, the IPCC "business as usual" scenario of carbon dioxide increase (IS92a) in the 21st century anticipates a doubling of carbon dioxide over pre-industrial levels around the year 2065; and

WHEREAS, the World Wildlife Fund says in a report issued on August 31, 2000 that “Global warming under CO2 doubling has the potential to eventually destroy 35% of the world’s existing terrestrial habitats, with no certainty that they will be replaced by equally diverse systems or that similar ecosystems will establish themselves elsewhere.”; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that Louisiana will see warmer temperatures from global warming, as well as more severe droughts, floods and sea level rise. The National Assessment report by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) says that of its two primary climate models, the Hadley climate model predicts about a 4 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperatures in southeastern United States over the coming decades, while the Canadian climate model predicts about a 10 degrees F increase; and

WHEREAS, the EPA warns that possible responses to sea level rise include building walls to hold back the sea, allowing the sea to advance and adapting to it, and raising the land (e.g., by replenishing beach sand and/or elevating houses and infrastructure). Each of the foregoing would be expensive, either in out-of-pocket costs or in lost land and structures. For example, the cumulative cost of sand replenishment to protect Louisiana’s coast from a 20-inch rise in sea level by 2100 is estimated at $2.6-$6.8 billion; and

WHEREAS, the Kyoto Protocol requires industrial countries to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels by the years 2008 to 2012. We have reached a point where the 5.2% reduction is woefully inadequate if we are to challenge the accelerating pace towards a doubling of carbon dioxide by mid-century. A 5.2% reduction in carbon emissions does not approach the 60% to 70% that scientists recognize as the cutback necessary to stabilize the atmosphere; and

WHEREAS, any progress in reducing carbon dioxide must include increasing CAFE standards above the present 27.5 miles per gallon for passenger cars and 20.7 for light trucks. President Bill Clinton’s 1996 “Car Talk” commission found that in the first ten years of the phase-in, an increase in CAFE standards from 27.5 to 45 mpg for cars and 20.7 to 34 mpg for light trucks would account for a reduction in carbon emissions of 36 million tons per year — almost half of the amount necessary to reduce emissions to 1990 levels; and

WHEREAS, Americans during World War II experienced heavy sacrifices involving the loss of loved ones, and also lesser sacrifices, such as the rationing of food and the shortage of material goods. Future generations must look back at the current period in time and understand that we did all we could, and as fast as we could, to address climate change and stabilize the atmosphere. This generation has that opportunity by directing funds from the federal budget surplus, after protecting social security, to renewable energy resources; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, that this council urges a nationwide mobilization of renewable energy resources as a model, beyond requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, to mitigate the loss of human life, property and ecosystems resulting from continued anthropogenic interference with the climate system in accordance with current scientific thought. While the goal of this legislation is to accelerate efforts to stabilize atmospheric conditions, in answer to the accelerating pace of climate change, we are also striving to mitigate the environmental burden of future generations. This resolution urges representatives of New Orleans in the Louisiana State Legislature, as well as all of the city’s congressional representatives to pursue legislation that promotes such a mobilization of renewable resources. Also, we are asking our elected representatives in the State Legislature and Congress to promote a funding of renewable sources through the application of funds from the federal budget surplus, after allowance has been made for social security protection; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the New Orleans City Council promote the goals established in the Clinton Administration’s 1996 “Car Talk” commission, namely an increase over a 10-year period in CAFE standards of from the present 27.5 miles per gallon to 45 mpg for cars and from the present 20.7 to 34 mpg for light trucks; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this City Council cooperate with other coastal cities in establishing an ad hoc or permanent association of coastal cities, whose purpose is to favor any city, state or federal legislation protective of coast cities against global warming or any other environmental threat; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this City Council supports any opportunity taken by its chairman or his designee(s) and/or the Mayor to join with other cities in voicing a united support for such an escalation of action to combat global warming.