The City of Sydney has voted to declare that climate change ‘poses a serious risk to the people of Sydney and should be treated as a national emergency’.
In a Lord Mayoral Minute issued earlier this week, Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore asked that the Council call on the Federal Government to respond urgently to the growing climate crisis by reintroducing a price on carbon in a bid to meet the country’s Paris Agreement emissions reduction obligations.
Additionally, the motion will also urge the establishment of a Just Transition Authority to ensure that people employed by the fossil fuel industries are assisted into employment elsewhere in the economy.
"Successive federal governments have shamefully presided over a climate disaster, and now we are at a critical juncture - we face a climate emergency," the Lord Mayor said.
"Australia's greenhouse gas emissions have increased for four consecutive years. It is clear that the current federal government's policies are simply not working and I call on Council to declare a climate emergency and step up our efforts to hold the federal government to account.
"On 24 January this year, 91 of the hottest 100 places on earth were in Australia. Heat waves on our continent are not only five times more likely, but they start earlier, last longer, and are hotter than ever before.
According to the International Climate Emergency Forum, over 600 jurisdictions in 13 countries have now declared a climate emergency. The Climate Emergency Declaration campaign in Australia is supported by over 50 climate action groups, including the International Climate Emergency Forum, Extinction Rebellion, and Greenpeace Australia.
More than 110,000 people have signed a petition on change.org calling on Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison to declare a climate emergency and act accordingly.