City Of Adelaide (Council) Declares Climate Emergency

City of Adelaide - Climate Emergency

With the addition of Adelaide on Tuesday, five of Australia’s capital city CBD councils have now declared a climate emergency.

Tuesday’s vote by City of Adelaide councillors wasn’t the first time endorsing a declaration had been attempted.

“While City Council knocked back my push for a Climate Emergency in March, I am very grateful to my colleagues who changed their minds last night,” said Cr. Robert Simms who tabled the proposal with the backing of  Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor. “We have sent a strong message to our community and cemented our place as a leader in fighting climate change.”

The motion was passed 9 to 1.

What changed the minds of resistant councillors this time around? Perhaps it was a presentation by the council’s audit committee and Minter Ellison last week warning of climate change’s impact on property values and insurance premiums says InDaily.

Other Recent Council Declarations

When last we reported on the declaration movement just a couple of weeks ago, 34 councils across Australia had declared climate emergencies. Since that time, the following councils have also done so:

  • Bunbury City (Western Australia)
  • Central Coast (New South Wales)
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire (Victoria)
  • Northern Beaches (New South Wales)
  • Surf Coast Shire (Victoria)
  • Town of Victoria Park (Western Australia)
  • Bass Coast Shire Council (Victoria)
  • Bega Valley Shire Council (New South Wales)

As well as recognising the threat posed by climate change, declarations may contain commitments to investigating or implementing measures to mitigate impacts or reduce emissions at a local level through strategies such as the increased use of solar energy.

For example, Bass Coast Shire Council in Victoria, which incorporates towns including Wonthaggi and Inverloch, will develop a 10-year action plan to help Council target net-zero emissions by 2030. In a news item published following its declaration decision, Bass Coast Mayor Cr Brett Tessari said more than 150 kilowatts of solar panels had been installed on Council buildings to date, “with more to come”.

Climate Emergency Declaration Statistics

According to a web site tracking declarations, the 42 Australian councils to have made declarations to date cover just under 15% of Australia’s population. The other capital city CBD councils to have made climate emergency declarations are Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Darwin. Brisbane City Council recently voted down a motion and I’m not clear on the situation with the City of Perth. Canberra is covered by a declaration made by the ACT government earlier this year.

This isn’t just an Australian phenomenon. 974 jurisdictions in 18 countries covering 212 million people have declared a climate emergency to date. The movement in Britain has been particularly successful, with 70 per cent of the population living in areas where a climate emergency has been declared.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Geoff Miell says

    What changed the minds of resistant councillors this time around?

    A lot has happened since March 2019 (when the previous motion was defeated). Perhaps the calls from the RBA, ASIC and APRA to recognise the financial risks posed by climate change have also been heeded?

    RBA Governor Guy Debelle reportedly said recently:

    “Climate is a challenging risk to assess but an increasingly necessary one. Businesses need to take account of both the physical risks and the transition risks”.

    “Physical risk is about the direct impact of climate on your business and the assets that it holds. What will be the effect of climate change on the price of an asset my company owns, particularly if it is a long-lived asset such as, for example, a mortgage?”

    “Transition risk is about the potential effects to businesses as the country and the economy adjusts to the changes in the climate. This includes the adjustment to policy responses required to meet the Paris objectives.”

    Or BHP Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mackenzie’s address in July?

    Or the latest IPCC report that was published this month?

    Better late than too late.

  2. I’m having difficulty understanding what the effect of these declarations will be

  3. @Muzz

    No carbon being emitted with all the ‘hot air’ that councils would normally emit.
    But seriously though, seems to indicate that councils are accepting the fact of climate change being a reality.
    Funding could perhaps be diverted towards more climate friendly projects?

  4. There is too much proof of previous changes from scientists, archaeologists and geologists that Earth’s climate, geography and weather patterns have changed many times for long and short periods. We know that the planet’s elliptical cycle changes climate dramatically and that around 10,000 years ago much of England and Europe had tropical and sub tropical weather.
    Are we due to repeat those same patterns now ?
    I think we are entering a new phase and you scammers are just grabbing at the money train along with the rest of the clowns conning government and people out of $ because it’s an easy way to make $ and do nothing.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      10,000 years ago was the end of a glacial period. There was an icecap in Scandinavia and Britain was not an island because so much water was locked up in ice. It was definitely not tropical or subtropical in Europe. There may still have been mammoths in some parts. I know this because I paid attention in school, which is something I probably would not have done if I was lazy and the sort of person who was happy making money from doing nothing. But some people are too lazy to even check Wikipedia before making a comment.

      • I remember Greg Hunt being roasted for quoting from Wikipedia arguing against the climate change hysteria

        • Ronald Brakels says

          Oh that. Hunt wasn’t arguing against climate change hysteria he was saying that increased temperatures don’t increase bush fire risk because bush fires happened in the past. Clearly an idiotic position — which he arrived at either intentionally or unintentionally. Either way is bad. Since he was going against the common knowledge of the Australian population, justifying his position with Wikipedia was a very courageous decision by the Minister.

          • Marcus Madrid says

            Muzz is clearly a troll.
            To many people ignoring the scary truth, chopping down the rain forests, drilling gas from the earth, burning fossil fuels and coal, has had a direct negative impact on our environment. 10000’s of wildlife species extinct, the thermal buildup, melting icecaps.
            I feel this argument is a logical as US and Gun reforms, you can talk yourself horse and blue in the face, and they will still deny your right and try convince taking their freedom of arms will kill them.

  5. If expressing skepticism about the significance of AGW and its vague but emotional derivatives such as climate change and climate emergency, labels me as a troll then so be it. I chose to install solar panels purely for economic advantage and in my opinion to choose otherwise is as stupid as a volunteering to pay extra to cover one’s carbon footprint when flying. I’ve said my piece. In the future I will refrain from commenting on non-solar/storage topics on this excellent blog

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