After waiting for three hours, seven members of Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) spoke at the Brunswick Town Council meeting on Monday night. They urged the council to declare a climate emergency.
“We were here to start the conversation,” Perrin Milliken ’22, a leader of BCA, said during the meeting. “We want to collaborate in town more. We don’t want this just to be a college thing. This is a young people’s movement, and we want to get the local schools and residents involved, and get everyone to cooperate together.”
The group presented a non-binding climate emergency resolution to the Council that includes a commitment to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a pledge to educate residents about climate change and halt the development of fossil fuel infrastructure. The South Portland town council passed a similar resolution in early October, and town councils in Bar Harbor and Portland followed suit on Monday night.
“No state in the U.S. has declared a climate emergency, and it would be really impactful if Maine was the first state to do so,” said Milliken in an interview with the Orient. “Brunswick in general is doing pretty well with regards to combating climate change, but the hope is to keep pushing, because it’s kind of life or death.”
Brunswick councilors seemed open to the resolution.
“I want to thank you all for coming, for waiting for so long and [for] beautifully articulating the emergency that we find ourselves in,” said Dan Ankeles, councilor at large. “I’m sorry that your generation is the one that’s going to have to clean up the mess that those of us who came before you made … I hope that the town of Brunswick can adopt this in a future meeting.”
The Council will vote on the resolution at their next meeting on December 2. Four days later, BCA will host a rally in conjunction with a national climate strike organized by the Sunrise Movement. The rally will begin at 11:45 a.m. at the steps of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and will conclude with speakers and a celebration at the gazebo on the Brunswick Mall. Milliken encouraged students, town councilors and all Brunswick residents to join.