Greta Thunberg and the Climate Extinction protestors are having an impact with governments and local governments declaring we have a climate emergency.

New Zealand’s Auckland Council has joined the growing list of councils declaring a climate emergency around the world.

This follows the UK, which on 2 May became the first country to declare a climate emergency with current Prime Minister Theresa May saying the UK has a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited. Mrs May has since pledged the UK will cut emissions to almost zero by 2050.

According to activist group Climate Emergency Declaration 611 jurisdictions across 13 countries have declared a climate emergency, including 22 in Australia.

In a unanimous vote held on Tuesday 11 June Auckland City Council formally and publicly joined these ranks, recognising “the urgency for action on climate change,” and signalling its intent to place the issue at the forefront of future decision making.

“We want to be a part of the global community calling for change,” Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the committee, said.

“We have listened and are listening to people: to Aucklanders who supported targeted rates to improve the health of our environment and water; to the students who went on strike and demanded action on climate; to groups like Extinction Rebellion who came to the council and pleaded with us to take more action including declaring this climate emergency.”

As part of the declaration, the council also committed to a number of items. These included pledges to “lead by example in monitoring and reducing the council’s greenhouse gas emissions”, “increase the visibility of our climate change work”, and “include climate change impact statements on all council committee reports”.

Australian councils that have also declared a climate emergency include:

  • Inner West Council and Blue Mountains City Council in NSW
  • Moreland City Council and Ballarat City Council in VIC
  • Gawler Town Council and Light Regional Council in SA
  • Fremantle City Council and Vincent City Council in WA
  • Australian Capital Territory

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  1. As long as the climate emergency declarations are followed up by a sustained, rapid, stringent suite of actions which initiate a trajectory to net-zero as soon as possible, all good.
    Let’s see your Action Plans and funding transfers next (from road construction funding to sustainable transport and green spaces).