On 11-12 September 2018, Darebin Council hosted the world's first council-run climate emergency conference and perhaps even the world's first 'climate emergency' conference.
The conference was an action from the Darebin's Climate Emergency Plan and part of the council's effort to educate the public and other councils on responding in the climate emergency.
Over 200 attended both days, including many councillors from around the country.
Speakers included Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf, David Spratt, Paul Gilding, Philip Sutton. Day one framed the emergency and the rationale of councils acting.
Paul Gilding had this great article on the conference appearing in The Age.
Attendees left fired up and on board with many announcing plans to start campaigns in their own local government areas. Moreland Council unanimously passed a climate emergency motion at the close of the conference. Details in the post below.
Materials from the conference will be provided here as they appear. The Conference Program is attached below.
At the Moreland Council meeting on 12 September 2018, Cr Dale Martin put up a climate emergency motion that was passed unanimously by council. The motion stated:
1. Council acknowledges we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local Councils.
2. Councillors receive a briefing from officers on how to best act on the ‘climate emergency’ acknowledgement and ensure this is embedded into future strategies and the next council action plan.
3. Council updates the Zero Carbon Evolution 2040 framework to embed the ‘climate emergency’ acknowledgement.
CACE met with councillors and been holding fortnightly meetings toward a Moreland climate emergency response. Thanks to Andrea Bunting of Climate Action Moreland, who gathered statements of support from councillors for the Climate Emergency Declaration!
Moreland is the fourth council in Australia to pass a motion recognising the climate emergency motion (along with Darebin and Yarra Vic, Vincent WA). However, Moreland is the second council to Darebin to committing to framing council work in the climate emergency.
Councillor - Steph Amir has used her bi-monthly column in her local ward community news letter to highlight Darebin Councils One of the first actions this council term.
"Council took after being elected was to declare a climate emergency. Until now, most Australian climate policies aimed to make modest reductions in carbon emissions while having the smallest possible impact on other areas of business or life. response to the Climate Emergency.
Our climate emergency plan takes a different approach, acknowledging that we need to urgently make big changes to avoid catastrophic climate change. When an emergency strikes – like a bushfire, pandemic or a war – there’s no time to lose. It’s the same with our climate. We need rapid mobilisation of people and resources, together with huge shifts in how we create and use energy.
But we can’t tackle this emergency alone. We need experts, community leaders, business leaders, and people from all three levels of government working together. Darebin’s climate emergency conference is coming up in September and it’s your chance to get involved in the climate emergency movement that started in Darebin and has already extended to places as near as Coburg and as far as California. One of the special guests is co-founder of Getup, Jeremy Heimans–it’ll be an event not to miss!"
Sunday 9th of September. 2-4pm at the Joinery.
Find about about the growing international movement of councils taking the lead on responding to the Climate Emergency and seeking to reverse global warming. Discussion includes leadership by local government through acknowledging and declaring a climate emergency, what a local government climate emergency response would look like, how to get your council into emergency mode. Speakers, Adrian Whitehead and Bryony Edwards have been supporting this movement in WA and VIC.
CACE is organising a meeting for interested people and groups to develop a campaign to get Moreland Council to Declare a Climate Emergency by 2020.
Date: Monday 30 July
Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Location: Pachamama Wholefoods 74-78 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Brunswick, Victoria 3056
This week, the Council passed a Notice of Motion from Dan Loden, City of Vincent Councillor - North Ward related to action on climate change:
1. AFFIRMS its support for addressing climate change within the City of Vincent;
2. ENDORSES the position expressed in the Western Australian Local Government Association's [WALGA] Climate Change Policy Statement that there is a climate emergency which requires urgent action by all levels of government to avoid an unacceptable burden on future generations;
3. REQUESTS that the Draft Sustainable Environment Strategy be presented to Council for advertising by March 2019 to support decision making in the 2019/20 Budget and Corporate Business Plan;
4. REQUESTS that the Sustainable Environment Strategy include the following measures:
4.1. Set a target of zero net carbon emissions by a defined date;
4.2. Set a target of zero net carbon emissions from stationary energy by a defined date;
4.3. Include plans to support the uptake by the community of electric vehicles and other technology that can achieve zero emissions vehicles within the City of Vincent;
4.4. Include plans for the City to create an electric vehicle fleet or other technology that can achieve zero emissions as part of forward purchasing practice; and
5. REQUESTS that administration give consideration to the carbon emissions which result from the management of waste as part of the current Waste Management Strategy."
As Jonathan Hallett, City of Vincent Councillor - South Ward put it, 'We are in a climate emergency and there are many elected members at other levels of government who are comprehensively failing to respond with the urgency that any other emergency would receive. We all need to step up.'
Council of Vincent is the second Australian local government to pass a climate emergency motion.
CACE is running two events at this years National Sustainable Living Festival.
Our main event is titled Councils Leading the Climate Emergency and is on at 12 noon on Saturday the 10th.
If you are interested in CACE's campaign come along and hear from the involved in achieving our first successful campaign in Darebin.
Speakers include Philip Sutton (RSTI), Bryony Edwards (CACE), and Darebin Councillors Trent McCarthy and Susan Rennie.
See facebook event
See SLF page
Our second event is titled Draw Down for a Safe Climate and explores naturally focused ways we can draw down excess CO2, using regenerative agriculture, and allowing native forests to recover. The session is introduced by Professor Justin Borevitz from the ANU Climate Change Institute.
See facebook event
See SLF page
We also recommend taking a look at the broader program but would recommend taking a special look at the following:
The Darebin Interim Advisory Committee wound up last night with its final meeting (18/1/18).
The group was able to develop a new terms of reference and new name for a new council supported foundation called Climate Emergency Darebin or CED.
Two terms of reference were developed, one by council staff and a more comprehensive version by RSTI's Philip Sutton. Many of Philip's recommendations were included into the approved TOR but ultimately the meeting ran out of time. and his remaining recommendations with be provided to the new board of CED as an additional documents.
The community members of the interim board were enthusiastic for the council's climate emergency response to expand as fast as possible and have committed to continue meeting in preparation for the new CED to commence the role out of the broader response.
CACE co-founder Adrian Whitehead has joined Darebin's interim advisory board on its climate emergency response and attended it first meeting last Thursday (5/10/17). He joins a diverse of team of staff, councilors, community members from a range of back grounds.
Originally planned to be the "Darebin Energy Foundation" Interim Advisory Board, a long time project of Councillor Trent McCarthy, this new board will take on the role of developing the terms of reference to allow the setting up a foundation to help the councils response to the climate emergency.
The first challenge will be to bring the boards members up to speed on what is the climate emergency and how Darebin's response will differ from other foundations such as Moreland and Yarra energy foundations.
Initial ideas include developing a Climate Emergency Think Tank and coming up with a more appropriate name.
Darebin Council information on DEF is here
CACE campaigner Adrian Whitehead has produced an initial response to the Darebin draft Climate Emergency Plan - Summary Document.
In general the document has captured most of the key element of a climate emergency response but has made some significant omissions on the issues of diet and draw down.
Our initial response is available below as a pdf.
The key points are:
- diet is not one of the listed top priorities
- draw down is not one of the listed top priorities
- the divestment statement is too narrow and only relates to fossil fuels.
Please read the full response in the pdf.