Ms Kerry Echberg of YCAN (Yarra Climate Action Now) at the Yarra Council meeting of the 21st of February demanded that the City of Yarra follow up their climate emergency declaration with real action.
Ms Echberg said "First of all, on behalf of YCAN I'd like to thank and congratulate Council and Councillors for supporting the declaration. We know that Yarra has, for a long time, been committed to reducing emissions in the city, and has taken many important actions to achieve a sustainable Yarra. We also know that we have entered a new phase in the battle for our planet, with 2016 being the hottest year on record, after several of the previous year’s having had that 'honour'.
So recognition of Climate Emergency is no longer enough: Councils, along with every level of government, must develop stronger policies and actions to attempt to deal with the problem and to protect the community, particularly its most vulnerable members, from the impacts already present. Each Council policy must be based on its effect on climate change.
My question is, how will you develop a climate emergency program based on the latest scientific research and with targets and budgets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which will reduce exacerbation of the disaster and protects the municipality, for your term of office and into the future?" (See council minutes page 7.)
CACE ran its first ever event at this years Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne called Councils Can Reverse Global Warming: Exploring the critical role. The presentation explored the critical role local government can play in both reversing global warming and protecting lives in their community. Issues explored include leadership, reaching zero emissions, draw down through council run biochar systems, creating community resilience, and most importantly a discussion on how audience members can encourage their local council to take up these measures.
Speakers were Philip Sutton from RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation Inc.), Trent McCarthy, a Darebin Green Councillor, Mik Adit from the Climate Emergency Declaration campaign, Bryony Edwards from Save the Planet, and Adrian Whitehead from CACE.
The key presentations were recorded by members of the Climate Emergency Declaration campaign and you can listen to these talks here.
Yarra Council became the first council to follow Darebin Council's lead and declared a climate emergency in their meeting on the 7th of February.
"Council recognises that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including by local councils." Moved: Councillor McEvoy Seconded: Councillor Coleman (See page 13 of revised minutes)
Well done Yarra Council!