Climate emergency vote

BAR HARBOR — A group of Mount Desert High School and College of the Atlantic students are set to present a resolution to declare a climate emergency to the Bar Harbor Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

If approved by the council, the Town of Bar Harbor would declare “that a climate and ecological emergency threatens our town,” and commit to “a town-wide mobilization effort to reverse global warming and the ecological crisis.”

The resolution would call for ending greenhouse gas emissions and working towards energy independence by the end of 2030. The town would implement “zero-carbon solutions for local electricity, heating, and transportation systems,” according to the resolution.

Specific actions would involve establishing a Bar Harbor Climate Emergency Task Force with youth representatives to research “opportunities for radical greenhouse gas emissions reductions opportunities.”

Financial obligations under the resolution, if passed, include designating one percent of the town’s annual budget to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hiring staff to implement a Climate Mobilization Action Plan.

Tuesday’s action is part of a larger movement. So far, 1182 municipalities worldwide have passed declarations of climate emergency, and committed to increased climate action in response. These municipalities include South Portland, New York City, and 50 other local governments in the United States.

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that deep greenhouse gas emissions reductions through changes in all aspects of society within a decade would be required in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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