Australian news, and some related international items

Darebin Council, Melbourne – a world first on Climate Emergency

This Melbourne council declared the world’s first climate emergency – now 28 countries are on board, Local and national governments in 28 countries have declared climate emergencies since Melbourne’s Darebin Council in 2016. Many now hope after this summer’s bushfires, Australia may declare a national emergency. SBS, BY EVAN YOUNG  1 Mar 20, On 5 December 2016, Melbourne’s Darebin Council made history.

Councillor Trent McCarthy put forward a motion that the council vote on declaring a state of climate emergency.

Though it would be merely symbolic, it was thought a declaration could still have practical use.

The vote was unanimous and made Darebin Council the first in the world to declare a climate emergency.

“Before the vote, residents were very much telling us climate change mattered more than anything else to them,” Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie told SBS News……..

Since 2016, Ms Rennie said Darebin Council has begun work on a number of green initiatives, including programs to subsidise solar panels for residents and businesses, working to make all council operations carbon-neutral, introducing a food waste recycling program and resurfacing roads with recycled material.

Making the declaration in 2016 “set the council on a path” to develop a climate plan, she said.

“Staff in all different parts of the organisation understand that looking at their work through the lens of a climate emergency is critical and it’s a core part of their jobs.”

“Our community expects action … so we also invite them to be much more vocal in what responses they want to see.”……

Where have climate emergencies been declared?

Ninety-four Australian jurisdictions have declared a climate emergency, according to Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation in Action (CEDMA).

The ACT parliament declared a climate emergency in May 2019, becoming the first Australian state or territory to do so, while South Australia’s Upper House followed suit four months later.

More than 800 million citizens across 28 countries are estimated to live in jurisdictions that have declared climate emergencies, according to CEDMA.

Britain, France, Portugal and Argentina are among the national governments to make climate emergency declarations.

Pope Francis also made a declaration in June 2019, while in November, more than 11,000 scientists around the world signed a scientific paper stating that the planet was facing a climate emergency, “clearly and unequivocally”.

Could Australia declare a national climate emergency?

In October 2019, an e-petition calling on the federal government to declare a national climate emergency reached a record-breaking 404,538 signatures.

It received more than three times the number of signatures on a petition which held the previous record, calling for the removal of GST on menstrual products.

The same month, Greens MP Adam Bandt brought a vote to the House of Representatives on whether to declare a national climate emergency. His motion was defeated 72-65, with Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor labelling it a “grand symbolic gesture”…….HTTPS://WWW.SBS.COM.AU/NEWS/THIS-MELBOURNE-COUNCIL-DECLARED-THE-WORLD-S-FIRST-CLIMATE-EMERGENCY-NOW-28-COUNTRIES-ARE-ON-BOARD

March 2, 2020 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Victoria

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