Councillors 100% behind climate emergency call
IN AMERICA, it's the states taking a lead on battling climate change, while the Trump administration maintains everything's just fine and dandy.
Meanwhile, South East Queensland councils are more concerned about staging a bread-and-circuses Olympic event, while the feds offer lip service to the issue in a bid to project political unanimity.
Climate-sensitive Noosa Council has, however, recognised a need to amplify the climate threat by declaring a state of emergency on Monday - being the first Queensland council to do so.
"In making this declaration, Noosa Council joins other local governments in NSW, Victoria, SA and WA as well as the ACT government who have already declared a climate emergency," Noosa mayor Tony Wellington said.
"In fact, 740 jurisdictions around the globe have made the declaration, including the national governments of the UK, Canada, Portugal and Ireland plus cities like Paris and New York."
Across the globe, average land and sea temperatures continue to rise, with the last five years being the hottest on record, he said.
"The most recent IPCC Report noted that humankind has just 12 years to take action to keep warming to less than 1.5 degrees and avoid more serious global catastrophes," he said.
Cr Wellington said Noosa was very susceptible to storm surges and tidal inundation, also tropical storms, with about 2200 properties potentially at risk, but also said for any affected properties the impact would "probably [be] well beyond the generation currently inhabiting them".
The declaration made a laborious journey through council's amendment process as Cr Ingrid Jackson sought to further amplify the declaration's urgency by ensuring letters were sent to the prime minister and opposition leader rather than just local state and federal MPs, and discussion on wordage bogged the process down.
Curiously, Cr Jackson's husband Keith took to social media last Friday to blast the council for mounting "a scare campaign on climate change" among other issues.
Zero Emissions Noosa has congratulated council's move but said the challenge is now for council to put meat on the bones of its words.
"Other councils, such as Moreland and Darebin in Victoria, have developed Climate Emergency Action Plans, outlining what the councils themselves will do in partnership with their communities," ZEN president Vivien Griffin said.
Queensland Break Free Climate Action Group's Phoebe Hayman and Greenpeace congratulated the council.
"By formally recognising the climate emergency, councils like Noosa are stepping up while the Federal Government sidesteps the issue entirely,." she said.
"All over the country, there is a groundswell of action coming up from a local level, which shows that change is coming, and it's coming from the ground up."
Greenpeace Australia Pacific said the council had "called the climate emergency for what it is, and in doing so has thrown down the gauntlet to state and federal governments who are still pandering to the fossil fuel industry".