Noosa, City Of Melbourne Councils Declaring Climate Emergencies

Climate Emergency Declaration

Image: Rohan Leppert via Twitter

Two more Australian councils are joining the growing number of local governments to declare climate emergencies – Noosa Shire and City of Melbourne.

Noosa Shire Council

On Monday, Noosa Shire Council announced it is set to become the first Queensland local government to declare a climate emergency. Council endorsed the climate declaration at Monday’s General Committee Meeting, which is expected to be ratified at today’s General Meeting.

“This declaration sends a strong message to all levels of government that the time to take urgent action on climate change is right now,” said Mayor Tony Wellington.

At the local level, Noosa’s efforts have included boosting its use of solar energy. Council has set a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2026.

“We will continue efforts to reduce emissions by implementing solar PV, identifying energy efficiencies and by making changes to our landfill site and our operations,” said Mayor Wellington.

City Of Melbourne

In a meeting of City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee yesterday, the committee voted to support the declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency according to Rohan Leppert. Among the recommended actions is requesting the Lord Mayor to suggest the State Government and City of Melbourne host a “Victorian Climate Week” event to raise the urgent need to act with all Victorian communities and most affected stakeholders.

Early this year, City of Melbourne laid claim to being the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 per cent renewables for its electricity supply. Council says its operations have been certified carbon neutral since 2012.

What Is A Climate Emergency Declaration?

The content of these declarations varies, but generally they acknowledge the severity of the threat from climate change and contain commitments to building public awareness and providing resources to address climate issues. In the case of local governments, they may contain wording applying pressure for similar declarations to be made at a state and federal government level.

Late last month, City of Sydney (Council) joined the movement with its own declaration that called on the federal government to lift its game.

In related news, ClimateEmergencyDeclaration.org said earlier this week declarations already made in 792 jurisdictions and local governments across the world cover 141 million citizens. In Australia, 27 jurisdictions representing roughly 2.8 million people and 11 per cent of the country’s population have declared a climate emergency (Noosa Shire and City of Melbourne aren’t covered in those figures).

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.

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