Thanks to the efforts of Climate Emergency Declaration campaigns in Australia, The Climate Mobilisation in the US, Greta Thunberg in Sweden and School Strikers in Australia, David Attenborough at the UN, and Extinction Rebellion in the UK, climate emergency awareness is blossoming and Climate Emergency Declarations are finally becoming ‘a global thing’! See the Google Map showing the jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency so far (and please let us know if we’ve missed any).
This Climate Emergency Action Plan page contains two things:
- A broad outline of the action plans we hope each level of government will adopt, with particular focus on the urgent first steps governments could take right now (with or without a climate emergency declaration)
- A wide variety of actions YOU can take. Nobody can do everything but everyone can do something, even if it’s just referring a friend to this page next time you hear someone say, ‘But what can I do?’
Federal government action plan
Declare a Climate Emergency. This is a powerful public signal telling everyone that, for the time being, business-as-usual will take a back seat and the society-wide focus must be on replacing climate-damaging activities with climate-safe and climate-beneficial activities. A commitment to a democratic and concerted climate emergency response is a powerful source of hope in an otherwise frightening situation.
- Set up an expert body to develop a Climate Emergency Plan. The task of the expert body is to thoroughly plan the most effective measures for a rapid transition from climate-damaging activities and for drawdown of excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, to investigate whether there are any safe cooling techniques, and to oversee implementation of the plan.
- Ban new climate-damaging projects and processes in the spheres under federal jurisdiction (exports, aviation, shipping, defence, etc) either as a first step in the Climate Emergency Plan or via federal-level No More Bad Investments (NMBI) legislation.
- Allocate the financial resources necessary to implement the Climate Emergency Plan.
- Public education and consultation to foster broad engagement and encourage participation in climate-beneficial measures, giving particular attention to breaking the fossil fuel industry myths used to create a false sense of benefit from and dependency on new fossil fuel projects.
- Lobby other national and sub-national governments to declare a Climate Emergency and develop comprehensive climate emergency plans.
Urgent first steps at federal level
- Immediately ban all NEW fossil fuel export agreements. This is urgently necessary because continuing to allow new multi-year export agreements would lock in dangerous quantities of greenhouse gas emissions for many years to come. Banning new fossil fuel exports would have minimal impact on Australia’s economy.
- Immediately ban all NEW offshore oil and gas projects in Commonwealth waters. (State/territory governments can ban new onshore fossil fuel projects, but Commonwealth waters are under federal jurisdiction.)
Note, the federal government could take these urgent first steps either as stand-alone steps or immediately after declaring a Climate Emergency. Developing a Climate Emergency Plan will take time, but transition planning is not required to stop new projects and export agreements that don’t yet exist. Currently there are numerous new coal, oil, and gas project proposals which are likely to go ahead over the next few years if business as usual continues, making the above two bans particularly urgent.
Things for YOU to do:
- Ask your local federal MP and/or Senators to sign the Climate Emergency Declaration statement of support sheet. Download and print the Statement of Support.
- Ask your local federal MP and/or Senators to propose a ban on new fossil fuel export agreements. See the export Talking Points.
- Ask your local federal MP and/or Senators to propose a ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction. See the offshore oil and gas petition and talking points.
- Make it your mission to help challenge the myths that facilitate continued expansion of fossil fuel extraction. Click the links in the above two dot points to find social media autoshare links for sharing mythbreaking Facebook posts and Tweets. Feel free to join the cedamia group on Facebook to find new mythbreaking posts from time to time.
- Chances are you have signed the Climate Emergency Declaration petition to all levels of government already, but if you haven’t, please do! We are aiming at 100,000 signatures, so please share the online petition on social media.
State and territory government action plan
Declare a Climate Emergency. A declaration is a powerful public signal indicating that they will be making the numerous changes that are within their power.
- Take similar steps to those shown above for the federal government, including developing a Climate Emergency Plan, allocating resources for implementing the plan, conducting public education and consultation, and lobbying national and other sub-national governments to declare a Climate Emergency and develop their own climate emergency plans.
Enact No More Bad Investments (NMBI) legislation to ban all NEW climate-damaging projects in cases where climate-safe alternatives are already available.
- Set up an expert body to determine which bans can be applied immediately and to thoroughly plan and implement the strategies for making future bans possible for other types of climate-damaging activities.
Urgent first steps at state/territory level
- In many parts of Australia, bans on a wide range of new fossil fuel projects would be possible immediately with little or no negative impact, as discussed in the States Can analysis. Since stopping NEW fossil fuel projects is particularly urgent and much easier than phasing out fossil fuel activities once they are approved, we are urging state/territory governments to enact the obvious and easiest bans immediately (either with or without passing NMBI legislation or making a Climate Emergency Declaration).
Things for YOU to do:
- Ask your local state MP and/or upper house members to sign the Climate Emergency Declaration statement of support sheet. Download and print the Statement of Support.
- Ask your local state MP and/or upper house members to propose No More Bad Investments (NMBI) legislation. See the Model Legislation, and the States Can analysis of what each state/territory can do.
- Make it your mission to help challenge the myths that facilitate continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Use the autoshare links for posts and GIFs at the bottom of the States Can page to share mythbreaking posts and Tweets. Feel free to join the cedamia group and/or the States Can group on Facebook to find new mythbreaking posts to share.
- Chances are you have signed at least some of the NMBI petitions already, but we now have a complete set covering all regions of Australia and have set up a form enabling you to sign all the NMBI petitions just by entering your details in one form. You can use this form even if you have already signed some of the petitions individually (the auto duplicate check will ensure your signature is not added again to any petitions you have already signed).
Local government action plan
Declare a Climate Emergency. A number of Australian, US, and UK local councils in have already declared a climate emergency and are developing climate emergency action plans.
- Conduct community outreach strategies to engage local residents in community-wide mitigation measures and hold public information sessions (getting off gas, energy efficiency, solar, passive heating/cooling, etc) to help them make wise choices.
- Develop a comprehensive Climate Emergency Plan that includes all local opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, drawing down excess carbon from the atmosphere, and reflecting heat.
- Allocate funding to support development and implementation of the Plan and for community engagement events.
- Lobby state and federal governments to declare a climate emergency and to provide financial assistance for local governments to implement climate emergency acton plans.
- Lobby the federal government to ban new fossil fuel export agreements and new offshore oil and gas projects, two of the biggest contributors to climate damage.
Urgent first steps for local councils:
- Immediately adopt obvious and easy measures such as prohibiting gas connections to new buildings and setting climate-smart building standards. In cases where the state government has made provision of gas connections mandatory or has control over building standards, lobby the state government to set better building standards and ban new gas connections.
Things for YOU to do:
- Ask your local Councillors to sign the Climate Emergency Declaration statement of support sheet for Councillors. Download and print the Councillor Statement of Support sheet.
- In the leadup to Council elections, ask candidates to sign the Climate Emergency Declaration statement of support sheet for candidates. Download and print the candidate Statement of Support sheet.
- Tell local Councillors about the number of local councils worldwide that have already declared a Climate Emergency and discuss the possibility of your local Council doing the same. See the Google Map and details of Council resolutions.
- Spread the word about the growing number of local councils declaring a Climate Emergency. Use this Facebook share link or this
Twitter share link to share on social media.
- For more information on how local councils can take the lead in taking climate emergency action, see our Local Government page and the action strategies at the CACE website.
- Encourage your local council to lobby the federal governments to ban new fossil fuel export agreements, a major source of climate damage. Fossil fuel exports increase climate risk for everyone and are the main thing driving new fossil fuel extraction in Australia. See the Export Agreements page for talking points.
Note: Having local councils calling for big national-level changes, like banning new offshore oil and gas and banning new fossil fuel export agreements, is a powerful means of building community support for important campaigns and breaking down commonly held fossil fuel myths.