The Australian National Climate Emergency Summit was held on 14-15 February 2020 at Melbourne Town Hall. There were 2,000 in attendance. Tickets sold out early. More seats were added and sold out again.
While there were a number of nationally- and internationally recognisable names on stage, the agenda and outcomes were, for the most part, true to the emergency perspective driven by grassroots campaigners. A key outcome was that the policymakers on stage who may not have reached the emergency camp at the opening of the conference, were most likely there by the end.
The closing plenary, led by Ian Dunlop (a former senior executive in the oil, gas and coal industry), set out a climate emergency declaration that groups and individuals can sign on to. Initial signatories to the declaration included Ian Dunlop, Carmen Lawrence, John Hewson, Tim Costello and Kerryn Phelps. This was covered in an article by The Guardian.
CACE’s Adrian Whitehead and Bryony Edwards were on panels in three breakout sessions, including: Beyond the Declarations (Adrian); The Activism Gap (Adrian); Australia Declares (Bryony). Philip Sutton spoke on the main stage (Justice and Rights in the Emergency) and a number of breakout sessions.
Some videos of the main stage events and podcasts of the smaller breakout events have been made available here.
Bryony Edwards of CACE gave a public talk to a small audience in at 'the Meeting Place' in Fremantle WA on 19 December 2019.
Bryony also spoke to WA audiences in both 2017 and 2018. WA was quick to embrace climate emergency declarations, with Vincent Council, by some measures, being the second council internationally to pass a climate emergency motion. WALGA, the WA peak body for councils, also passed a climate emergency motion soon after. However the movement has languished since with only seven WA councils passing climate emergency motions, and none of those councils following up with a substantive response. Attendees spoke about the efforts made by the public to get these councils to do more.
Bryony's talk focused on how we bring about full-scale emergency mobilisation at the federal level, focusing on the role of councils in getting us there. 'We can either act like the house is on fire, or we can assign ourselves and future generations to an unspeakable future, ' she said. 'Councils that have declared need to start acting like the house is on fire'.
From Queenscliffe Climate Action....
Tonight’s the night!
7pm, Queenscliff Town Hall, 50 Learmonth Street.
Our petition of 2145 signatures to the Borough of Queenscliffe requesting that they declare a climate emergency and commit to developing a response plan in partnership with the community is on tonight’s council meeting agenda.
We do not know if a vote will take place tonight - there is every chance that a decision will be held until their next meeting in January - but we must show Council that their community overwhelmingly supports this urgent call for action by showing up in person, wearing red.
And, if a vote doesn’t occur, we need to respect Council’s decision to hold off for another month – as frustrating as it will feel.
This is our final chance to gather together in 2019 to celebrate everything that our beautiful community has achieved since our first meeting in Point Lonsdale on 30 October. What an amazing few months!
Hope to see you there :)
PS. The Mount Alexander Shire Council (Castlemaine area) declared a climate emergency two days ago as it faces a predicted surge in the number and intensity of extreme weather events.
Its now three years on since Darebin acknowledged we are in a climate emergency. Since then over 1200 councils and 20 countries have acknowledged we are in a Climate Emergency.
The next step in our campaign is to get our governments into emergency response mode. Emergency mode is when a government mobilises all available resources to reverse global warming and making it their number one priority of government.
If we wish to avoid a climate collapse all levels of government will need to enter this mode in order to avoid a social and ecological collapse, reverse global warming and return our climate and ocean acidity to preindustrial levels.
The sooner our governments enter emergency mode the greater the chance we have of saving our future and saving our children’s lives.
The burning of the East coast of Australia shows us that we have now run out of time to delay meaningful action. Every year of delay means more death and destruction before we eventually reverse global warming.
Importantly, just as councils have lead the world on acknowledging a climate emergency, council can lead the world by being the first level of government to enter this mode and model this mode to higher levels of government.
Despite this, no council in the world including Darebin has yet gone into full emergency mode.
Find out how a council can initiate going into emergency mode here https://www.caceonline.org/entering-emergency-mode.html
Darebin has done lots of good things for climate change in the past three years including Darebin’s Solar Saver Program, supporting the council Power Purchase Agreement, and running a climate emergency conference but has not gone into full emergency mode and wont unless we can step up the community support.
Darebin’s unique position as the first council in the world to acknowledge the climate emergency means councils from around the world look to Darebin to define how they will respond, hence it is vital that Darebin action on climate change is world leading and best practice and move in emergency mobilisation mode.
CACE is organising a meeting to gather community members and climate activists to discuss how and if we can get Darebin into emergency mode and do some preliminary discussions prior kicking off a public campaign to get Darebin into full emergency mode.
We have one more chance with this current council to get Darebin into emergency mode prior to the next election through Darebin’s 2020 budget and after that we will face council elections.
The meeting is a preliminary meeting to discuss campaign ideas on setting up an Emergency Mobilisation Campaign to kick off in early 2020.
It will focus on building public support for an Emergency Mobilisation in Darebin and ensuring we have a council elected in 2020 that will support a full emergency mobilisation of Darebin.
We will follow up this meeting with a second meeting in late Jan or early Feb.
We appreciate your support in this vital campaign.
Time 5-7pm Sunday the 15th of December
St Andrews Alphington / Fairfield Uniting Church
85 Gillies St, Fairfield VIC
Councils have led the world in declaring that we face a climate emergency, and they can lead the world again by entering full emergency mode.
The Shire of Yarra Ranges community has already got it’s council to declare a climate emergency, however this alone will not be enough to save us.
CACE (Council and community Action in the Climate Emergency) is now working with community groups to get the first councils in the world to enter full emergency mode.
By entering emergency mode the Shire can demonstrate to higher levels of government the type of response we need if we are to avoid a climate collapse.
On November 29th, 6- 8.30pm, CACE is co-hosting a Planning Meeting on how the Yarra Ranges community can work towards getting the Shire to enter a full emergency mobilisation to restore a safe climate.
This Meeting is on the Friday as the first event the Red and Blue weekend at ECOSS and is open to all members of the community want action to reverse global warming.
The meeting will be held in The Coop at Yarra Valley ECOSS.
See the facebook event for more details.
Help get your council into full emergency mode by checking out the following links....
Find out more about ECOSS here: http://www.ecoss.org.au/
Find out about the Red and Blue event here:
Adrian Whitehead from CACE this week met with several NSW councillors and community groups regarding full-scale climate emergency response by the relevant councils. The discussion in one council area was particularly promising, with both community, councillors and staff expressing expressing commitment to the necessary full-scale climate emergency mobilisation.
Adrian also received a guided tour by David Maher of a 20 ha Central Coast property, Yula Punal Aboriginal Women’s Healing and Education Centre, situated at the base of Watagan State Forest, that David (Watershed Systems for Recovery of Climate) has been rehabilitating by restoring appropriate watershed infrastructure and appropriate vegetation. The effects to date, even amongst the surrounding dry, are impressive.
Councillors opposed to recognising the climate emergency had a significant victory at Knox Council on Monday night (28th October 2019), when they succeeded in stopping Knox Council acknowledging a climate emergency.
The vote followed a very impressive campaign undertaken by the local community, which included the collection of 1000s of signatures supporting the acknowledgement. Around one hundred from the campaign attended the council meeting.
The original motion proposed by Cr John Mortimore in response to pressure from local climate emergency activists included the statement “we are in a state of climate and environmental emergency” but this was removed.
Instead a highly amended proposal was presented on the night. One Councillor, Cr Adam Gill, questioned the legitimacy of the change given the lateness. The Mayor claimed this had been done to ensure a unanimous vote.
The short term victory of those councillors opposing emergency action was complete with no single councillor voting against the removal of the recognition of the climate emergency. However, campaign has positioned the climate emergency as a central topic for the council elections in 2020 and those opposing councillors won the battle but may yet 'lose the war'.
Adrian Whitehead of CACE attended the Southwest Climate Action Forum (Thursday 22 October) in Warrnambool run by Geoff Rollinson of Southwest Climate Action. The Forum was attended by over 70 community members, who presented a wide range of campaigning ideas ranging from getting climate friendly members elected to local council, encouraging local dairy farmers to reduce their emissions, and transitioning the Portland Alcoa aluminium smelter to 100% renewables or shutting it down. Both the City of Warrnambool and Moyne Shire have passed motions recognising the climate emergency.
CACE's Adrian Whitehead joined local campaign organiser Kitty Walker, in a meeting with Queenscliffe's Mayor Bob Merriman and new CEO Martin Gill, to discuss the upcoming community meeting about the climate crisis and how Queenscliffe could play are role in responding to it.
Queenscliffe Borough is a unique local government in Australia, being the only borough and servicing a population of around 2700 (2016 census figure).
Queenscliffe and surrounding areas will also be drastically affected by climate change, in particular from sea level rise and coastal inundation, making it, as we call them, one of the Atlantis councils who will loose some or all of their land under future sea level rise.
The conversation was wide ranging and positive, heralding a good start for community involvement in the Borough's climate response.
Please come doe the communty meeting at Pt Lonsdale on Wednesday the 30th. Details below.
As featured in the Colac Heard 7 Oct 19....
"YOUNG LEADERS: Colac Otway Shire schoolchildren joined residents calling for action at a climate and biodiversity emergency meeting in Colac yesterday. Rhani Adams, Piyali Beale, Teararatai Horo and Rose Gitting stood up at the meeting and urged community leaders to acknowledge a state of climate emergency. Read more about the meeting and a petition to Colac Otway Shire Council in Wednesday's Colac Herald. "
Click for more....
Adrian Whitehead from CACE was a key speaker at a community event held in Colac on Sunday the 6th of October. The events was organised by local community members and was attended by more than 50 residents.
The event featured two great speeches from local school children Rhani Adams and Rose Gitting how expressed their concern for their futures and the lack of effort by adults to save them.
Cr Steven Hart spoke about what Colac Otway Shire had done and was not doing in this space and the meeting was attended by Cr Brain Crook.
The event launched local petition for Colac Otway Shire to acknowledge that we are in a climate emergency and commit to stronger action. The petition is available in hard cop locally and closes on January the 28th.
People wishing to get involved in this campaign can contact Marina via her email at firstname.lastname@example.org