Georgia Moore’s questions to Geelong’s councillors

My name is Georgia Moore and I’m a 21-year-old university student. Growing up, little did I know at this age I’d find myself torn between my studies, trying to make an income for myself and trying to save my own life and the life of the 7.7 billion other people on this planet, not to mention the some 50 million species of animals and 300,000 species of plant life recorded around the world.

I am affiliated with multiple groups in the Geelong community including the local branch of the Greenpeace movement Break free, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Extinction Rebellion.

So today, I do not stand here alone. This is the reality for so many other wonderful people in the community, who are fighting for my future and the future of their own children, and grandchildren, and this is our burden which is yet to be adequately shared by you, our representatives. So, I have three questions for you this evening.

Mayor Harwood, at the last meeting you stated climate change is a problem ‘we can’t fix overnight, we are taking action and doing what we can,’ including the 2017 Zero Carbon policy and Carbon Action plan. With all due respect, however, this is not enough. These actions are not ground-breaking, these are not an adequate response to the existential threat we are facing, this is not emergency policy making. Council acknowledges expected sea level rise of up to 80cm by 2100 on its website. This would see Barwon Heads and many other suburbs from Corio Bay to the Bellarine inundated. Proposed amendment C394 would see to apply a ‘Land Subject to Inundation Overlay’ to 1614 properties in these areas.

On your website Councillor Jim Mason states, this overlay “recognises the location may be subject to future coastal flooding and sea level rise impacts.’ This does not acknowledge the seriousness this threat. Sea level rise is already happening, and it is not a potential threat, it’s inevitable.

It’s time council start taking the risk of coastal inundation seriously and the emergency of our situation is appropriately reflected by council policy. I ask of you that in all future council communications, motions, documents and policies you only refer to this situation as what it is, a climate emergency or crisis. This is not climate change; this is a man-made existential time-bomb.

Will you commit to telling the truth and calling this situation what it truly is, an emergency?

Mayor Harwood, at the last meeting you gave me a sense that you believe this is a state and federal issue, not capable of being addressed locally, what can one local council do? This was deeply disappointing to hear from my elected community leader. Yes, it’s essential we have strong cohesive national climate policy. But our federal government is currently letting us down. Yes, it’s vital we have ambitious state climate targets to push for federal accountability, but our state government is currently letting us down. 50% renewable energy by 2030, that’s not good enough. At a local level, we must declare a climate emergency to influence change at a state level, to see stronger action on climate than the watered-down targets they have just committed to. Once the majority of states have declared a climate emergency, our political leaders might actually start pulling their weight and stop using excuses to avoid taking their dirty hands out of the deep pockets of the fossil fuel industry. It’s council’s role as our local leaders, to push for federal accountability from the bottom-up. Together we are powerful, so join the movement of 34 local councils Australia-wide who are empowering their electorates and are fed up with being voiceless. I call upon you all to declare a climate emergency for bottom-up change, and most importantly for our future.

Will you stop being complicit with a federal government who thinks it’s okay to take away my future and push for change?

Councilor Atkien, at the last meeting you stated that you weren’t prepared to declare a climate emergency without being able to support it with ‘meaning.’ I understand this, but what you may not understand is that the longer you wait, the more you tap away at our hope.

Many within our community feel hopeless, insignificant, overwhelmed and afraid. As our community leaders it’s imperative you’re leading the way, empowering the community, inspiring innovation and supporting education.

Every time we ask, and you don’t deliver, it hurts.

Every time my activist friends question “Why even bother?,” I feel despair.

Every time the uninformed look down on me as alarmist or dramatic, I feel frustrated and angry.

But how can I blame them when our own federal, state and local governments let us down by failing to recognise the emergency of our situation?

If council recognise this situation for what it is, an emergency, it will open the eyes of those who are currently blind with fear or hopelessness. Most importantly it will give hope to those who are out there in the community, my friends, who are out there fighting and working tirelessly for all of our futures. It will make us feel supported, recognised and valued, and I truly feel this hope and sense of empowerment will be contagious.

Will you take my future, if not, your own children’s future seriously, by tabling discussion and a vote for a declaration of climate emergency at the next meeting?

~ Georgia Moore

Geelong Councillors ask: “What do you think Geelong?”

Geelong Councillor Anthony Aitken wrote on Facebook: “The City of Greater Geelong has been asked to join the International Movement to develop a Climate Emergency Plan. What do you think Geelong ? #OurFuture”

He cc:ed Cr Jim Mason, Cr Ron Nelson, Cr Peter Murrihy and Cr Kylie Grzybek, as well as Geelong Advertiser, Geelong Indy, Bay 93.9, and K Rock.

→ You can tell the Councillor Aitken what you think here:

Two other Geelong councillors did the same:

1) Councillor Kylie Grzybek asks on her Facebook page:

“I’m keen to hear your views – the city will be debating whether to declare a climate emergency- I’m educating myself on the topic but I would love to hear your views. And if you have any links or info on this important topic I would appreciate it.”

Let her know!

2) And then you can go to Councillor Anthony Aitken’s post

…and answer him as well.

3) Thirdly, please go to Geelong councillor Stephanie Asher’s post where she asks:

“OK, I am keen to hear from Bellarine residents and ratepayers about their views on declaring a climate emergency. The Geelong council group is receiving a lot of letters and emails urging us to follow the lead of a number of other local councils and make a declaration on behalf of the City of Greater Geelong. I want to get a sense of the breadth and depth of people’s feelings on this. Go…”

Let them know what you think!


On 26 August, there were 113 comments on Aitken’s post, 90 likes, and only ONE ‘sour-face’

Mik Aidt wrote:

“I say a very BIG YES. Declaring a climate emergency in our municipality is the first step to take the issue more seriously. It sends a signal to all of us in this city that we need to wake up and start working together – businesses, organisations, individuals – on solving the dangerous issues with the climate and ecologicial breakdown. So please, show some leadership – that’s what sitting in a Council ought to be all about – and then let’s roll our sleeves up and help each other, as we would in any other emergency situation.”


Remember also to comment on those comments you like or dislike
The more online activity on that post, the merrier!

Petition with 1,589 signatures delivered to Geelong Council

On 19 August 2019, an alliance of community groups handed in the petition to City of Greater Geelong councillors: 1,589 local residents calling for Council to declare a climate emergency.

The signatures were collected by a number of different community groups, including Greenpeace’s Break Free Geelong​, CACE Campaigners Geelong and Surrounds​, Centre for Climate Safety, Thrive For Future, Persistent Presence, The Sustainable Hour, and more.

Will Geelong’s councillors make a decision on this on their fortnightly meeting next Tuesday? We’ll know on Friday, when the agenda for the meeting is published. Stay tuned!

→ You can read the more than 200 letters and messages to the Geelong Mayor and Councillors here:

Share on Facebook

Geelong business calls for Council to declare a climate emergency

As the first business in Geelong that we have heard of, Carol Burns, owner of AccentDVD in Moorabool Street, has decided to make a difference and speak up in support of our petition to Geelong Council:

“This is my call to the City of Greater Geelong Council:
I dream of being as sustainable as possible at home and at my business, although at the moment costs are still prohibitive.
I believe we all need to work together. We need to find new and better ways to live. We all deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment, especially for our future generations.
Please consider moving forward and declare a climate emergency.”
~ Carol Burns, owner of AccentDVD

→ You can sign the petition here

→ Retweet this on Twitter

→ Share this on Facebook

British school declares its own climate emergency

[INSPIRATIONAL]   Yes, a school can do it too.

“The Chase School is a school of excellence – and that should apply to all areas.”

The Chase School in Malvern, UK, wrote in its newsletter:

“The IPCC delivered a stark warning that we have just two years to keep temperatures from warming above 1.5 C. We’ll be living with the consequences of climate change for generations to come, and our children need to know about the future they face, especially as they will experience its impact first hand.

We want to raise awareness of climate change, acknowledge the crisis, and lead the way in action.

In declaring an emergency, we strive to reduce our carbon footprint, and keep the “reduce, reuse, repair & recycle” motto in our minds at all times.

Key Actions:
1. Increase knowledge and understanding of climate change across the school community

2. Reduce volume of printing and offset the school’s annual printing consumption by planting trees on the school site or by pledges made by others

3. Increase overall recycling and seek a reduction in energy consumption through improved recycling facilities and improved behaviour across students and staff

4. Improve drinking water facilities around the school in order to reduce single use plastic water bottles

5. Increase number of pupils and staff cycling and walking to school to create more sustainable transport

In addition to the above goals, we have compiled a short list of questions to encourage staff and students to act in accordance with a crisis, that can be displayed around the school.

* Can I walk or bike to school? Can I take the bus or train? Can I car-share?
* Do I need to buy single use plastic? Do I have a re-usable water bottle?
* Do I strive to look after my pens, books and other belongings in order to avoid unnecessary waste?

* Resources – do I need to print it? Can I reduce it to use less paper? Can I reuse it at a later date?
* Do I recycle, and encourage the pupils to recycle?
* Do I positively promote the “reduce, reuse, repair, & recycle” motto? Do I positively promote the required shift in mind-set?

We want to improve the school’s awareness of climate change, and empower students and staff to help make a difference.”

Guide: ‘Understanding climate emergency and local government’

The Melbourne-based centre Breakthrough has released an excellent eight-page guide – ‘Understanding climate emergency and local government’ – which explains the scientific evidence of the emergency, the crucial initiating role of local government, and what an ’emergency response’ is.

The purpose of climate emergency declaration campaigning is to accelerate sustained and meaningful action by all levels of government, and for people globally to engage with the challenge of avoiding catastrophic climate change and restoring a safe climate.

The use of the term “emergency” is a way of signalling the need to go beyond reform-as-usual.

The strategy is to start with local governments because it is easier to find innovative local governments to be early movers than it is to get state and national governments to take on the climate emergency response approach. Local councils and communities have an indispensable role in helping to build a national and global response.

Download the guide

→ More guides and papers from Breakthrough can be found on

→ Share the news about this on Facebook

“Tackling the climate emergency: tools for cities”

Climate Action Co-benefits Toolkit

In the United Kingdom, Ashden have launched a Climate Action Co-benefits Toolkit to help local and combined authorities to radically cut carbon emissions while delivering wider benefits.

Ashden launched this at an event together with the Grantham Institute who have published a briefing paper on the co-benefits of climate action.

→ Download the briefing paper: ‘Co-benefits of climate change mitigation in the UK: What issues are the UK public concerned about and how can action on climate change help to address them?’ (PDF)

Climate emergency declaration news in June 2019

Head of UN climate change secretariat:

“We are in a climate emergency”

“Patricia Espinosa, head of the United Nations climate change secretariat, said existing country pledges to cut planet-warming emissions would heat the planet by 3 degrees Celsius (5.4F) from pre-industrial times.

“That is just not possible,” she said, adding it would leave people sicker and result in battles over resources such as water and land, with coastal residents losing homes to rising seas. “We are literally in a climate emergency, and… we are increasingly hearing that this is the fight of our lives,” she said.”

→ Thomson Reuters Foundation – 17 June 2019:
UN climate chief says 3C hotter world ‘just not possible’
“Climate change is an “existential issue”, and stepping up efforts to keep warming to agreed limits is urgent, the U.N. climate chief says.”

→ Green Report – 14 June 2019:
António Guterres: The climate emergency threatens the security and stability of the world (article in Italian language)
“More and more wars in the world of sovereignties and the risk of a global nuclear conflict reappears.”


House of Commons declares a climate emergency

The House has voted to “declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency which requires, as a response, that Canada commit to meeting its national emissions target under the Paris Agreement and to making deeper reductions in line with the Agreement’s objective of holding global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.” Forcing a vote on the motion meant all MPs had to stand up and be counted, whether or not they support Canada meeting the Paris targets.

→ CTV News – 17 June 2019:
Canada’s House of Commons has declared a national climate emergency
“The House of Commons has passed a motion declaring a national climate emergency, and supporting Canada’s commitment to meet the Paris Agreement emissions targets. Conservative MPs voted against the motion, but it still passed 186-63 with the support of the Liberals, New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois and Green MPs.”

→ Global News – 17 June 2019:
National climate emergency declared by House of Commons
“The motion was put forward by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, with the vote passing 186-63.”

→ The Link – 8 June 2019:
Climate Activists Hold Town Hall for Green New DeaL
“A Green New Deal would be a dramatic transformation of the economy tackling the climate crisis and the injustices related to it”


First Australian state capital declares climate emergency

“Hobart has become the first capital city in Australia to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency and demand urgent action. The motion passed last night eight votes to three, with Aldermen Tanya Denison, Simon Behrakis and Marti Zucco voting against it.
Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds says the declaration of an emergency reflects the concerns of the community. “Acknowledging that you have a really strategic problem for the future is more than symbolic, it’s about recognising that this issue is going to effect our operations and our community is incredibly concerned about the impact of climate change on the future of our city,” she said.
But Alderman Behrakis has described the council’s to declare as emergency as “hypocritical”. He says several of the councillors and aldermen who supported the declaration, also voted against an amendment showing support for a zero-emission power generation program.”

→ ABC News – 18 June 2019:
Hobart City Council declares climate emergency

National General Assembly of Local Government 2019:

Call on the Australian government to declare a climate emergency

Darebin City councillor Trent McCarthy wrote on Facebook on 17 June 2019:
“We just got the National General Assembly of Local Government 2019 to call on the Australian Government to declare a #ClimateEmergency and set up a $10B fund to enable councils to build the resilience of climate change vulnerable communities. Thanks to Moreland Council, Yarra Council and Blue Mountains Shire for co-sponsoring Darebin’s motion and to the 134 delegates who voted for it.”

→ The Guardian – 3 June 2019:
We must mobilise for the climate emergency like we do in wartime. Where is the climate minister?
“A realistic assessment of climate-related impacts and threats depends on understanding the strengths and weaknesses of climate science projections. Unfortunately, much scientific knowledge produced for climate policymaking is conservative and reticent.” By Ian Dunlop and David Spratt

→ Sydney Morning Herald – 3 June 2019:
Time to flick climate emergency switch: a plea to our new Parliament
“A year ago, there was little discussion of climate change as an existential threat, or the corresponding need for emergency action. Today, in the face of rapidly accelerating climate impacts, “existential threat” and “climate emergency” are common currency globally, existential meaning the potential to destroy humanity as we know it.” By Ian Dunlop

→ The Guardian – 15 June 2019:
Australia’s oldest things: how mind-boggling timelines meet the climate emergency
““As the world becomes more unstable in the grip of vast and all-pervasive change,” Falconer writes, “it’s difficult to discern exact chronologies, relationships and meaning.” More than anything, I think, climate change politicises time.”

Story change

Al Jazeera asks: “Has the media narrative changed around climate change?”

Lawyer Farhana Yamin:

“We have three choices: to die, to survive or to thrive”

“At this point in human history we have three choices: to die, to survive or to thrive. From the wildfires in the U.S., coral die-back in the tropics and the deadly hurricanes battering small islands, the signs are crystal clear: climate devastation is already here. The world’s poorest people and indigenous communities are on the front line. They are also bearing the brunt of the sixth mass extinction, which is under way due to conversion of their forests, wetlands and other wild landscapes into concrete cities, dam reservoirs and fields growing soya.”
~ An excerpt from This is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook, published by Penguin Books. By Farhana Yamin, an international environmental lawyer and activist with the Extinction Rebellion movement.

→ Time – 14 June 2019:
This Is the Only Way to Tackle the Climate Emergency

→ The Guardian – 15 June 2019:
We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet
“The case for action to tackle the climate emergency, on a scale far beyond anything that has yet been attempted, is increasingly widely understood.”

→ CommonDreams – 12 June 2019:
Adding to Planetary Alarm Bells, Top US Finance Official Warns Climate Crisis a Recipe for Global Economic Collapse
“It’s abundantly clear that climate change poses financial risk to the stability of the financial system.”

→ Inequality – 15 June 2019:
Global Inequality in a Time of Climate Emergency
“Our world’s richest have a great deal of money. They also have the power to decide whether our civilization sinks or swims. So what can we do?”


Leader of 1.3 billion Catholics declares a climate emergency

On social media

In the news

→ TVNZ – 13 June 2019:
It’s time for NZ to declare a climate emergency, majority of Kiwis say in new poll
“Of those who were polled, 53 per cent answered yes, 39 per cent said no, and eight per cent did not know. Those who were more likely to agree that the Government should declare a climate change emergency were Green Party supporters, Pacific peoples, people aged 18-34, Labour Party supporters and Māori.”

→ Insurance Business NZ – 15 June 2019:
Climate emergency declared in Auckland
“Auckland City Council has become the latest to declare a climate emergency, joining Canterbury, Nelson, and Kāpiti Coast councils and other cities around the world that have formally recognised the urgency for climate change action.”


→ Greek Travel Pages – 5 June 2019:
Greek Green Groups Calling on Parties to Declare ‘Climate Emergency’
“Dozens of local environmental groups are calling on the Greek government and political parties to take immediate action and move swiftly ahead with the implementation of measures against global warming and are demanding a “climate emergency” be declared.”

Existential climate-related security risk

Media coverage generated by the release of the Breakthrough policy paper on climate, security and risk by Ian Dunlop and David Spratt:

→ CNN:
Climate change could pose ‘existential threat’ by 2050: report says

→ ABC News: (US)
Climate change could pose ‘existential threat’ to humanity by 2050, advocates say

→ Al Jazeera:
‘Reaching end game’: New paper on climate change raises alarm

→ New Scientist:
Is it true climate change will cause the end of civilisation by 2050?

→ The Independent:
‘High likelihood of human civilisation coming to end’ by 2050, report finds

→ CBS News:
Climate change report: Human civilization at risk by 2050, according to new Australian climate change analysis

→ Adelaide Advertiser:
Civilisation will be under threat by 2050 if we don’t tackle climate change, report warns

→ Mirror: (UK)
Human civilisation ‘will collapse by 2050’ if we don’t tackle climate change

→ NZ Herald:
Climate change doomsday report predicts end of human civilisation

→ Live Science:
Human Civilization Will Crumble by 2050 If We Don’t Stop Climate Change Now, New Paper Claims

→ Science Alert:
Climate Change Could End Human Civilisation as We Know It by 2050, Analysis Finds

→ Pro Bono Australia:
Climate change: ‘A near-to-mid-term existential threat to human civilisation’

→ People:
The End of Civilization May Begin in Just 30 Years, According to a New Harrowing Report

→ Climate News Network:
Thirty years to climate meltdown – or not?

→ Alternet:
‘Existential’ risk of climate crisis could lead to civilizational collapse by 2050: report

→ Medium:
Climate Change Alarmists Have a Point

→ Heute:
Researcher: Humanity is at its end in 30 years (article in German language)

→ Bild:
Shock forecast for the climate catastrophe (article in German language)

→ Klimareporter:
Is humanity dying? (article in German language)
Translation on

Climate emergency movement news in overview

Climate emergency declarations in 558 councils cover 65 million citizens

Populations covered by local governments that have declared a climate emergency: 65 million citizens in 13 countries, with 29 million of these living in the United Kingdom, meaning more than 40 per cent of the UK population…
Read more

Video recordings of climate emergency speeches in chambers and halls

Climate emergency speeches by Councillors – Canada: Legislative Assembly of Ontario Ian Arthur delivers a passionate and emotional speech advocating for the declaration of a climate emergency. 5 minutes. 15 May 2019 – Canada: Cowichan Valley Council: Sonia Furstenau, Member of the Legislative Assembly…
Read more

Discussions about the concept of declaring a climate emergency

Discussion in Hobart Council → ABC News – 21 May 2019: Hobart Council row erupts as members stage a meeting walkout against climate change motion “A row has erupted inside the walls of Hobart City Council over a motion to recognise climate change as a global emergency.” …
Read more

New Zealand: Two regional councils declare a climate emergency

On 16 May 2019, two regional councils in New Zealand made history by declaring a climate emergency as the first councils in the country, vowing to put climate change at the forefront of decision making. “At 11:49am on Thursday, Environment Canterbury councillors voted and made history, …
Read more

Australian Capital Territory declares a climate emergency

“As the first Australian state or territory to declare a climate emergency, we’re setting the standard for climate action across Australia, and the world,” tweeted Shane Rattenbury, ACT Greens Leader and Minister for Climate Change in the Australian Capital Territory. On 16 May 2019 he moved a motion…
Read more

Region of Catalonia in Spain declares a climate emergency

On 15 May 2019, the Catalan government declared a climate emergency. Catalonia is a region comprising about 7.5 million people, who…
Read more

Australia: Greenpeace action on Sydney bridge to call for climate emergency declaration

On 14 May 2019, Greenpeace supporters climbed the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia, to demand that Prime Minister Scott Morrison declares a climate emergency. The action was streamed live on Facebook and Youtube just like a full news tv coverage with cameras on location, prerecorded interviews and commentators in the studio…
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Climate emergency in the mainstream: clippings

Clippings from the climate emergency news and social media streams in May 2019 – Greta Thunberg tweeted: “Over 500 regional councils around the world have declared climate emergency. As well as 2 nations. Who’s next? #ClimateBreakdown #EcologicalBreakdown” …
Read more

Switzerland: Climate emergency declarations critisised for being political rhetoric

In Switzerland, politicians and media commentators are discussing whether the climate emergency declarations and resolutions that have been declared in eight of the country’s cities and municipalities will lead to action at an entirely new level or eventually be overlooked as fluffy, non-binding policy statements …
Read more

Ireland declares a climate emergency

“Its official. Ireland becomes 2nd country in the world to declare a #ClimateEmergency & Dáil also agreed to endorse all the recommendations of the Oireachtas Climate Action Report .Definitely one of the highlights for me as a @greenparty_ie TD. My children are thrilled.” By making an amendment…
Read more

Media coverage in May 2019

Examples of news stories and articles

→ Al Jazeera – 25 May 2019:
School students strike worldwide, demand action on climate change
“Thunberg – who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize – is urging governments to declare a climate emergency as has happened in Britain, Scotland and Ireland, a call echoed by many on European strikes.”

→ CBC – 21 May 2019:
Old Crow, Yukon, declares climate change state of emergency
“Officials in the Yukon’s most northern community have declared a state of emergency, saying the traditional way of life in Old Crow is under threat from climate change.”

→ Sky TG24 – 20 May 2019:
Environment climate emergency motion approved in Milan (article in Italian language)
“The Milan City Council approved the motion on the “climate and environmental emergency declaration” in the city. The document was presented by the councillor of the Democratic Party Carlo Monguzzi, and was approved with 31 votes in favour.”

→ Refresher – 22 May 2019:
Prague 7 declared a state of climatic emergency (Article in Polish language)
“The City of Prague 7th District joins the call for climate protection.”

→ The Herald – 17 May 2019:
Glasgow City Council declares climate emergency
“Glasgow City Council has become the third council in Scotland to declare a climate emergency. Councillors debated the work done by young Scottish campaigners and highlighted the need for the Climate Challenge Fund before declaring the emergency on Thursday.” 

→ Focus Taiwan News Channel – 22 May 2019:
Civic groups to ask government to declare ‘climate emergency’
“Over 30 civic groups will take to the streets of Taipei on Friday calling on the government to declare a “climate emergency” in response to increasingly serious climate change.”

→ Government News – 27 May 2019:
Cities at the forefront of ‘climate emergency’
“Local governments across Australia are taking a stand against what they say is federal climate inaction on the back of worldwide initiatives like Morocco’s famous ‘blue city’.”

→ The Age – 25 May 2019:
The environment: Establish a bipartisan ‘war cabinet’ on climate change
“With a climate emergency declared in the United Kingdom and the extinction of species, including pollinating insects which are essential to our food supply, occurring at a faster rate than ever before, it is time to look at emergency measures.”

→ The Age – 24 May 2019:
‘We’re worried the planet is dying’: Thousands of climate protesters bring CBD to standstill
“The protesters want the federal government to declare a climate and ecological emergency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.”

→ The Guardian – 16 May 2019:
Federal election 2019: Bill Shorten says Labor will take climate ’emergency’ seriously – as it happened
“Bill Shorten declares climate ’emergency’. There is a use of a very particular word in this part of the speech. And it is very deliberate.”

→ Newcastle Herald – 16 May 2019:
Shorten vows to tackle climate ’emergency’
“Labor leader Bill Shorten has toughened his stance on climate change, labelling it an emergency he vows he will prioritise if he becomes prime minister on Saturday.”

→ The Advertiser – 14 May 2019:
PM on Adani spat with CSIRO – the climate emergency – and the Harbour Bridge protest (video)
“The Prime Minister Scott Morrison answers questions on the Adani coal mine approval.”

→ The Guardian – 9 May 2019:
Peter Garrett urges Bill Shorten to declare climate emergency if Labor wins
“Exclusive: Former environment minister calls for creation of ‘war’ cabinet committee to plot transition to zero carbon.”

“Surely what is required by the Earth that feeds us and so many other amazing creatures is a war-type, non-affiliated “cabinet”. It would include representatives from all sides of politics and be directed by non-politically aligned experts. (Any pecuniary interests would need to be declared.)

Structurally this could include an environmental wing of our armed forces (for example, the navy helping to clear plastics from our oceans and sewerage and chemical run-off which is destroying our Great Barrier Reef). It could provide school leavers with an interesting, voluntary, “national service” gap year of employment, and perhaps work and skills development for the unemployed.

Through the United Nations, we could suggest a co-operative approach between nations that could enhance eco-tourism and a sharing of innovative solutions.”
~ Steven Sommer, Highton

“This isn’t something we can wait for someone else to fix. We all need to act now. We can be leaders for change. Think globally, act locally.”
~ Ben Andrews – in a Facebook comment

Podcast with Alex Marshall: Proper and immediate action on the climate emergency

This page is an excerpt from – with permission.

Guest in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 20 March 2019 was 19-year-old Alex Marshall from CACE Surf Coast & Geelong who’s calling for proper council action on the climate emergency, and leading the charge on the Surf Coast to follow the lead of over 400 other councils around the world that have declared a climate emergency – five of those in Victoria, 15 in Australia.

The Sustainable Hour team also talks over the phone with the officer at Darebin City Council whose job it is to get the practical stuff of a climate emergency sorted and making the Council’s decisions work for the community and the officers: Samantha Green from the municipality’s Environmental Education & Promotions Office.

They visit Maribyrnong Councillor Simon Crawford in the fifth Victorian council to declare a climate emergency. And we visit Darebin Councillor Trent McCarthy who has been a strong supporter of Darebins climate emergency initiatives since his climate emergency motion – the first of its kind in the world – was carried in 2016.

“There is support for declaring a climate emergency, taking action. It is seen as serious and urgent by a majority of people.”
~ Common Cause Australia, network agency

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 259 on 94.7 The Pulse:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)



RenewEconomy – 8 March 2019:
Poll finds strong majority support for declaring a climate emergency

Sign petition

Support the campaign and sign the petition on

“The world is facing a climate emergency. Our country is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Government action and policy matters. Labor is not just ready to take action here; we are impatient to take action. We know that this is in the national interest, that this is in our children’s interest, and that this is in our grandchildren’s interest.”
Mark Butler, in a speech on 4 December 2018


Feature forum at the National Sustainable Living Fesival in Melbourne in February 2019 with some of the remarkable councillors who are at the forefront of the world’s first climate emergency mobilisation effort, acting locally and spreading globally.

“City governments around the world are on the move. In the space of just 12 months, a growing number of city councils are showing extraordinary leadership as the climate crisis escalates. Now spreading into an international movement that started in Australia, city councils are stepping forward as the first level of government to declare a climate emergency. In this extraordinary development, government officials are facing up to the true level of climate risk and are stridently developing climate emergency mobilisation plans and advocating to protect their citizens.”

Cheryl Davila – Berkeley (USA)
Eduardo Martinez – Richmond (USA)
Chris Krohn – Santa Cruz (USA)
Doina Cornell – Stroud (UK)
Carla Denyer – Bristol (UK)
Kim Le Cerf – Darebin (AUS)
Natalie Abboud – Moreland (AUS)
Belinda Coates – Ballarat (AUS)
Hosted by: Gay Alcorn, Melbourne Editor Guardian Australia

Impassioned request made City of Powell River declare a climate emergency

“We are the leaders of this community and everybody is looking at us to make a difference. I just can’t sit by anymore and do these piddly things that we’re doing. We know it’s going to be expensive; we know it’s going to take staff time to build these into our financial plans but we have to start putting money into reserves. We have to make plans so at the very least if we can do this we’re taking a step forward and we’re telling the community that this is an urgent matter and we are getting in front of it as best we can at this late date.”

~ Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman, City of Powell River

City of Powell River councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said she is losing sleep over climate change. At one point during her impassioned argument on the subject at the regular council meeting on 21 February 2019, she broke into tears over her desperation.

She requested that within 90 days, city staff prepare a report outlining the greatest threats to the city, both corporate and community, with respect to climate change impacts.

It includes: estimated sea level rise, wildfire threats, increased flooding events, potential contamination of the watershed and other immediate perceived threats; beginning discussions between the city, regional district and Tla’amin Nation for establishing an advisory committee for disaster and emergency response planning with the regional manager of emergency services taking the lead; establishing “Climate Action Plan 2020 and Beyond” for a carbon-neutral City of Powell River; beginning to track financial implications of climate change impacts not only in city asset management plans but in all city departments; and becoming carbon neutral in the city’s corporate operations from 2019 and beyond.

» Powell River Peak – 6 March 2019:
City of Powell River councillor makes impassioned call to address climate change
“Council decides on its definition for ‘emergency’ plan”

Alex Marshall’s climate emergency speech

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Wave of councils declare a climate emergency

Two years ago there was one: Darebin City Council. Then there were eight. Then forty… Today, Council climate emergency declarations are being replicated around the world: Close to 300 councils have taken it on board on behalf of their 20 million residents.


“Many argue we need a Churchill to lead us, that only a strong leader can take charge in a crisis and show us the way forward. Or maybe we need a climate “Pearl Harbour” – a major single event. This is not how systems usually change, but especially not in a globalised and connected world. Yes, we need leadership and across all sections of society. But the “Churchills” emerge from a context and the context shift we need is to accept we have a crisis. Critically, this acceptance is a distributed social phenomenon, not a technical question of science or evidence. This brings me back to Darebin in Melbourne…”
~ Paul Gilding, 11 September 2018