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Nagano became the first prefecture to declare a climate emergency Friday, joining a growing coalition of nations, regions and local municipalities around the world in vowing to take action that reflects the urgency of the crisis.

A Climate Emergency Declaration is a nonbinding promise to act at the necessary scale and speed to reduce carbon emissions, pursue renewable resources and do everything possible to address climate change. Outside of Japan, 22 countries including the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Ireland, as well as nearly 1,200 municipalities — including New York and San Francisco — have made the declaration.

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