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Worldwide movement to declare Climate Emergencies

ūüö® A fast-growing number of countries, nations, territories and cities are¬†accepting the science and declaring climate emergencies. ūüö®

This includes entire countries of the UK, Canada and Portugal and the nations of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The City Councils of London, New York and Auckland have also joined the list.

In Australia, 25 areas have declared climate emergencies including the Australian Capital Territory and the city councils of Sydney, Hobart and Fremantle. 

So what exactly is a climate emergency declaration? And will it mean climate action?

There is no general rule for what a climate emergency means, but most areas state that their main goal is to be carbon neutral. With the United Nations warning we only have 11 years, or until 2030 to dramatically curb our emissions, this is a huge step in the right direction.

Councillors and politicians have said that by declaring climate emergencies, this shines a hard spotlight on the issue and raises awareness. Yet there are also worries that they could be used as just another form of 'green-washing' and the motion will be meaningless without solid action, change in legislation and detachment from the fossil fuel industry.

The City of Nelson, USA, however enforced its announcement with action, and committed to set aside over $750,000 for a climate action fund. 

The list of regions and cities who are signing on to the climate emergency list is growing rapidly. While this is a welcome move, it needs to mean something. An emergency means putting out the fire instead of just sounding the alarm bells.

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