We need to keep coal in the ground. There should be no question or debate about this, yet Port Metro Vancouver plans to move forward with a reckless scheme to become North America’s largest coal export terminal.
People in Vancouver (especially young people) are rightly worried about and opposing this dangerous and irresponsible direction. Now, Mayor Gregor Robertson is very publicly joining this opposition. Robertson has introduced a motion that could stop coal export infrastructure from being built or expanded in the City of Vancouver and that supports the call for a health impact assessment of Port Metro Vancouver’s reckless coal export plans.
Coal ports employ very few people, do little for our local economy, and endanger all of our jobs and livelihoods by destabilizing the climate. As the Mayor outlines at length in his motion, the local health impacts from coal dust and diesel fumes are not well-understood and of great concern to our community’s health authorities.
Most importantly, it is very unlikely that we will avoid the 2 degree warming threshold most scientists and global governments say must be avoided. Coal is killing us and we do not need more of it in our community.
As David Roberts writes: “Coal is the enemy of the human race. It needs to be kept in the damn ground.”