Local students once again called on the Pasadena City Council to declare a climate emergency, but this time the City Council members responded by asking the students to get involved in the dialogue to strengthen the city’s Climate Action Plan.
Under the Pasadena Climate Action Plan, the City commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels this year, and 40 percent below that level by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Under state mandates, utilities get 33 percent in renewable energy by the end of this year. Pasadena plans to procure 60 percent of its power sources from renewable energy by 2030, along with a 75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to 1990 levels.
“I’m sure you’re tired of me, and I’m tired of being here,” said Ozzy Simpson of the Sequoyah School. “But until real action happens, I will keep showing up and asking you all to uphold your responsibility in combating the climate crisis.”
Simpson told Pasadena Now that 41 people have sent letters to Mayor Terry Tornek. Tornek said he supports the goals in the Pasadena Climate Action Plan.
Tornek responded to put the letter in context after Simpson’s comments.
“This is exactly what I hoped would happen,” Mayor Tornek said. “Some of these folks have read the city’s Climate Action Plan, and now specific suggestions are emerging how we can make it more stronger and more aggressive.”
Tornek said the city’s Climate Action Plan is not a fixed document forever, and invited the students to work with the city to help revise the plan.
The students have called out the council members before and at one point asked every candidate running for office to sign a pledge to support a Green New Deal. Several candidates signed the pledge, but no council members signed on.
“Declaring a Climate Emergency and working toward alleviating it requires much effort and collaboration, but it could be done step by step,” said Selina Yang, a senior at the Sequoyah School. “This is why I hope that Pasadena can commit itself to combat climate change further by declaring Climate Emergency on a local level. Over 1000 councils like Pasadena’s have already declared climate emergencies, and many neighboring cities have declared. I sincerely hope that Pasadena be one among them in the near future.”
John Kennedy asked the students to share more information with him about neighboring communities that have signed climate emergency declaration.
“I hope this council will seriously consider your request,” Kennedy said.
Simpson will be one of the moderators at 5 p.m. next Tuesday at the first-ever youth led Climate Action Forum at the Jackie Robinson Recreation Center, 1081 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena. The mayoral and city council candidates have been invited to
“At your suggestion, my peers and I looked at the Pasadena Climate Action Plan,” said junior Audrey Bluestone. “While we are supportive of local efforts, we can all agree that it doesn’t do enough. We can do better, and we should.”