Longmont City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to declare a climate emergency,

The vote came after council heard 13 speakers urging adoption of the resolution stating the declaration.

Several of those people read excerpts from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’sspeech at a United Nations summit last month.

“It is time to grieve for the world we are losing and for the species already lost and the loss of the familiar turning of the seasons,” said Hayden Court resident Karen Dike, who said she has four grandchildren, including a 4-year-old.

“I am grief stricken at what we have done to the world she will inherit,” Dike said.

Dike and Tuesday night’s other speakers called for the city to begin taking actions to identify and start implementing local responses to the declared climate emergency.

Armstrong Drive resident Travis Offtermatt said, “We humans are causing irreparable damage to this planet.”

Sherman Way resident Sally Fulton told council: “There is a climate crisis,” no matter what people think the cause is, “but you can make a difference.”

Ponderosa Circle resident Dale Lannan said he hoped each and every council member will address the environmental impact of every action they take.

Dike said Longmont can “serve as an inspiration to others, to show that local action can help dispel grief and cynicism and drive us toward hope.”

Passage of the resolution, an action suggested in July by local environmental and climate crisis activists, commits Longmont to convening a climate working group that, according to the resolution’s language, will “discuss further steps the city should take to promote a carbon-free, sustainable city with the goal of creating and submitting a report outlining such steps within 120 days of this resolution …”

City Council directed staff to begin recruiting, accepting applications and reviewing those applications in order to appoint that working group soon.

The resolution states the working group shall include “city staff, other subject matter experts, partners, concerned residents, including the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”

No one spoke against the climate emergency declaration during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’ve got some big work to be done,” Councilwoman Marcia Martin said at the meeting’s conclusion.

Earlier Tuesday night, during council discussion of the resolution and the formation of the working group, Martin said, “We need to have a sense of urgency that frankly, this council has not always had.”

The full climate emergency declaration resolution can be viewed as an attachment to item 8A on the Tuesday night agenda, with the full agenda available at tinyurl.com/yyxezek2.

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