Climate ‘emergency’ considered

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FRANKSTON Council are set to consider declaring a “climate emergency”.

The move was put forward by new mayor Cr Sandra Mayer, and will be debated at council’s next ordinary meeting.

The motion reads that “Frankston Council acknowledges that current levels of global warming and future warming already committed constitute nothing less than a climate emergency for most life on this planet, requiring an emergency response by all levels of government, including local government.” If the motion is successful, council will also “call upon the Australian state and federal governments to declare a climate emergency, and back this up with legislated programs to drive emergency action to reduce greenhouse gases and meet the lower target of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.”

Cr Mayer said she moved to declare a climate emergency because “there’s a lot of community interest. Mornington Peninsula Shire declared a climate emergency and spoke quite passionately about it. There has been a petition going around, people have been quite proactive, and there’s been emails from volunteers working in the environment.”

“We’ve voted to preserve the Green Wedge, we’re phasing out the use of Roundup, and there’s been a lot of really positive feedback about that,” she said. 

“We already have a climate action plan, we’ve had one for eight years, but now we’ve got to look at how we’re tracking. A report is coming to council about how we’re going meeting our targets, and we haven’t met our targets when it comes to energy usage and water usage.

“Once our Green Wedge is gone, it’s gone. We need clean air to breathe, clean food to eat, and clean water to drink. We need to reduce our carbon emissions, they are heating up the planet and it will be catastrophic.”

If Frankston councillors vote in favour of the move, they will also resolve to review and update their Climate Change Impact and Adaption Plan within a year and “undertake to work with the Frankston community to raise awareness of the climate emergency and support community action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience.”

First published in the Frankston Times – 18 November 2019

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