Declaring that we are in a state of climate emergency


After a protracted debate Willoughby Council adopted a resolution that ‘hidden’ deep within a six part resolution were the words “declaring that we are in a state of climate emergency”.



To get to this point it took:

  • an initial motion that was lost
  • a Council Officer’s draft motion that subsequently move as the amendment to the initial motion
  • an amendment (the officer’ draft) that was lost
  • a further amendment that was lost, and
  • finally a foreshadowed motion that was carried.

There original motion comprised 10 sections and was supported by seven pages of supporting background information.

The adopted resolution was in six parts. half of which were re-affirmations of related activities that Council has in progress.

The main differences  between the various versions seemed to centre on whether Council would declare a state of climate emergency.

It is difficult to find a definition of what constitutes a climate emergency, According to the BBC there is no single definition of what constitutes a climate emergency.

A recurring theme in all the motions was the focus on calling on governments to respond to the climate emergency. Perhaps a more holistic call including to the community and big business as well as government, working together might provide a more productive outcome. This has been the successful model previously used in response to other ’emergencies’ such as other natural disasters and during wartime.


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