As of 1 July 2019, 719 councils across 16 countries have declared a climate emergency. With the first to declare in December 2016, the number of councils that has declared has doubled in the past four months, as made available in the global list managed by CEDAMIA.
Moreover the New York City has declared and a number of nations have joined including Canada. This upward momentum to central governments was a goal when the council climate emergency campaign was first developed.
The campaign has introduced the emergency frame to campaigners, policymakers and the public around the world, changing the tweaked business-as-usual approach to which many had become resigned. The council campaign has gone hand in hand and been boosted by Extinction Rebellion and School Strikes.
While advocacy and education are central to the council campaign (up, down, sideways and inwards) the nuts and bolts solutions package is also essential. How do councils best shift to reduced or zero emissions and drawdown, while building community resilience across their portfolios?
If councils declare a climate emergency and but don't mobilise to adopt the emergency frame across their portfolios, we have lost because all stakeholders will become resigned to it being just too hard - back to the tweaked business as usual approach.
Councils have to walk the talk. Change doesn't come easy - that's why consultants make millions selling change management to corporation. This is the type of intervention each council needs to undergo so that councillors, the CEO and staff are all on the same climate emergency page. CACE is working on a training package for councils.
If your council has declared, hold them to account. CACE is working on some of the nuts and bolts for once councils have declared. Ultimately we would like to work these into guides to make it simpler for declared councils. Any specialist help is appreciated.
Bloggers on this page include Adrian Whitehead, Bryony Edwards, Philip Sutton.