On Monday night at the Ordinary Council Meeting, council resolved that the Upper Hunter Shire Council recognises that we are in a state of climate emergency which requires urgent action by all levels of government including local councils.
With state and national governments failing to stop, let alone reverse global warming, local councils are key to putting pressure on our state and federal members, and demanding an immediate national response to the global climate emergency that faces us all. Councils across Australia (and the world) are playing a lead role in responding to the climate emergency by setting safe climate goals and targets, and by implementing local sustainable programmes.
Acknowledging publicly that council recognises we are in state of climate emergency is the first and important step towards our shire’s climate emergency response. With the spectre of catastrophic droughts and floods, underpinned by our children and grandchildren taking to the streets in national and global protests against government apathy on tackling climate change, council understands that recognising climate emergency is a key strategic priority for governments at every single level.
Over the next couple of months, council will be going through our community strategic plan as we do every year and this will be an ideal opportunity to frame council’s climate emergency strategies for our community and shire. We know that the changing climate is causing damage to health, property and infrastructure, and we know that we have to do something about it as we transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Business as usual is no longer an option.
Instead through education, emissions mitigation and building community resilience, we will be in a position to respond to the climate emergency by undertaking urgent action through advocacy to state and federal governments and by being involved with local innovation and projects.
We don’t have time to ignore the climate emergency warnings because at best if we hope to have any chance avoiding catastrophic tipping points, we have just 11 years to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Upper Hunter Shire Council has shown leadership in resolving that council recognises we are in a state of climate emergency, and equally Upper Hunter Shire Council has shown leadership in resolving that we need to do something about it.
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