17 May 2017

Local government campaigns

Local governments can play a critical role in achieving a nation-wide climate emergency response. Our ultimate aim is a national declaration of Climate Emergency with its ability to unlock all the required policy changes and funds for a rapid climate emergency mobilisation, but local councils can start the ball rolling by demonstrating successful climate emergency initiatives at the local level. Early successes in their own local community can then spread outwards to other local council areas and upwards to the state and federal levels.

For ways you can help, see Talk to your local Councillors

Listen to Darebin Councillor Trent McCarthy talk about what local councils can do. He gives great tips for getting your local council on side.

Read Philip Sutton’s paper, Local-first implementation: Why a strong climate
declaration is needed at the local government level and what it can do
.

Darebin City Council initiatives

A number of Darebin council candidates signed the Climate Emergency Declaration statement of support prior to the recent Victorian council elections. A majority of the candidates who were elected had signed.

On December the 5th 2016, at the urging of local climate groups, the newly elected councillors declared a Climate Emergency at their very first meeting.

The motion they passed states:
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: Cr. Trent McCarthy SECONDED: Cr. Steph Amir
Link to original minutes (see p.46).

Currently Darebin Councillors are working with council staff on drafting the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan (available from their website soon).

Part of the Darebin Council plan is to encourage other local councils to follow suit. Accordingly, Darebin Councillor Susan Rennie got the following motion passed at Victoria’s Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) state council with a 77% majority.

Motion 56. Climate Change
Submitting Council: Darebin City Council
Motion:
That the MAV recognise that:
(a) we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local councils
(b) human induced climate change stands in the first rank of threats to humans, civilisation and other species
(c) it is still possible to restore a safe climate and prevent most of the anticipated long-term climate impacts – but only if societies across the world adopt an emergency mode of action that can enable the restructuring of the physical economy at the necessary scale and speed;
(d) the MAV has a particular role in assisting local governments in this regard.

Workshop, Melbourne SLF, Feb 2017

Local government as a way of getting climate emergency action through

Photos by Julian Meehan, audio recordings by The Sustainable Hour


Philip Sutton | Trent McCarthy | Mik Aidt | Bryony Edwards | Adrian Whitehead

How councils can reverse global warming

With State and Federal Governments failing to implement policies to reestablish a safe climate, this workshop at The Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne explored the critical role local government can play in both reversing global warming and protecting lives in their community.

Issues explored included leadership, reaching zero emissions, draw-down through council running biochar systems, creating community resilience, and a discussion on how audience members can encourage their local council to take up these measures.

Welcome by Adrian Whitehead



Introduction to the meeting and the topic by Adrian Whitehead, MC for the event and Save the Planet party’s national campaign leader.



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Philip Sutton



Philip Sutton, author and climate action strategist, talks about why local governments are critical in accelerating a climate emergency response at federal and state levels.



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Trent McCarthy



Trent McCarthy, Darebin Greens Councillor, talks about his initial work on the Climate Emergency Declaration at Darebin and the North Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), exploring ways in which to talk to councillors about climate emergency.

Trent McCarthy starts talking about declaring a climate emergency in council after around 5:30 minutes.



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Mik Aidt



Mik Aidt, climate emergency campaigner and radio host, talks about the Climate Emergency Declaration petition and mobilisation campaign.

» More information about the campaign on www.climateemergencydeclaration.org


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Bryony Edwards



Bryony Edwards, candidate for Save the Planet party in local and state elections, talks about her experience in running for local government and the opportunities it brings for campaigning on the climate emergency.



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Questions to Trent McCarthy



Trent McCarthy answers three questions, and MC Adrian Whitehead rounds off the event with a talk about how councils can actually reverse global warming by helping remove CO2 and methane from the atmosphere.



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The 50-minute session was organised by the Safe Climate Alliance and was held in the ‘Under the Gum’ tent at the Sustainable Living Festival on Sunday 12 February 2017 at 2:00 pm in Melbourne, Australia.

» Read more about the festival on www.slf.org.au

» Melbourne festival aims high: “Big impact for big change”
Interview with Sustainable Living Festival director Luke Taylor