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Tacoma City Council unanimously declares climate emergency

Adrian Florez

Tacoma has declared climate change a public emergency.

The City Council approved the resolution in a unanimous vote Tuesday night, recognizing the need for immediate action to minimize the harm to current and future generations.

The climate emergency resolution comes at the urging of youth climate activists. Many spoke in favor of it before the council’s vote. 

Sarah Dunn, 23, is with the Tacoma chapter of the political action group, the Sunrise movement. 

“Even though it’s really scary to face, there’s a lot we can do especially as a city, to face this,” Dunn said. “And we need to pass this resolution to commit to that.”

The resolution does that in a number of ways.

It aims to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, encourage sustainability and establish a youth workgroup. But some still raised concerns that the vote doesn’t go far enough.  

Tacoma appears to be the first city in Washington to pass this kind resolution.   

Will Stone is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.