Strategies in Action

Local governments can play a critical role in achieving a nation-wide climate emergency response. Our ultimate aim is a national declaration of Climate Emergency with its ability to unlock all the required policy changes and funds for a rapid climate emergency mobilisation, but local councils can start the ball rolling by demonstrating successful climate emergency initiatives at the local level. Early successes in their own local community can then spread outwards to other local council areas and upwards to the state and federal levels.

The map below shows the local jurisdictions that have passed a Climate Emergency Declaration and which are developing or have already developed Climate Emergency Action Plans. Details of the various council motions and action plans of each jursidiction are at and in this global datasheet.

For ways you can help build support amongst council candidates, see the Local Council Action Kit. Or, consider running for council yourself!

Our local government campaign is in conjunction with key partner CACE – Council Action in the Climate Emergency. CACE are establishing and supporting campaigns across Australia to get Local Governments to declare a climate emergency. The CACE website has information for Councils on how to prepare for a Climate Emergency Declaration and a guide for communities on how to grow a campaign to pressure your local council to declare a climate emergency.

Listen to Darebin Councillor Trent McCarthy talk about what local councils can do. He gives great tips for getting your local council on side.

Download the full text of the Darebin Climate Emergency Plan, or download the Summary.

See our Darebin City Council page for updates on what they are achieving.

Council elections – a great time to act!

Prior to the 2016 Victorian local council elections, our campaigners managed to collect Candidate Statement of Support signatures from a number of candidates in the Darebin and Yarra Council elections. When the results came in, much to our surprise, a majority of the newly elected Councillors were people who had signed! Darebin Council thus became the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to declare a Climate Emergency, with Yarra Council following soon after.

Things to do if your local council is having elections soon

1. Consider running as a candidate yourself on a Climate Emergency Declaration platform. If you win a seat you will be able to ensure that climate is considered in all local decisions. Local councils are perhaps the best place most of us can have a major impact on climate-related issues. If you don’t win a seat, at least you will have had your climate emergency message distributed to everyone in your area via your candidate statement.

2. Have a chat with as many local council candidates as you can, and ask them to sign this Candidate Statement of Support. Take a photo of them holding it up, and email us the photo for inclusion on our website and in social media posts. You never know – yours might be the next local council to come on board with a Climate Emergency Plan something like the one Darebin Council has adopted!

Click here – or right-click on the image – to download the A4 sheet for council candidate sign-on (PDF document)

On a MAC: Hold the CTRL-button and click on the photo. A drop-down menu will then appear. Choose: ‘Save Image As’

Workshop, Melbourne SLF, Feb 2017

Local government is a great way of getting climate emergency action implemented!

Photos by Julian Meehan, audio recordings by The Sustainable Hour

How councils can reverse global warming

With State and Federal Governments failing to implement policies to reestablish a safe climate, this workshop at The Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne explored the critical role local government can play in both reversing global warming and protecting lives in their community. more...

Issues explored included leadership, reaching zero emissions, draw-down through council running biochar systems, creating community resilience, and a discussion on how audience members can encourage their local council to take up these measures.

Welcome by Adrian Whitehead

Introduction to the meeting and the topic by Adrian Whitehead, MC for the event and Save the Planet party’s national campaign leader.

Philip Sutton

Philip Sutton, author and climate action strategist, talks about why local governments are critical in accelerating a climate emergency response at federal and state levels.

Trent McCarthy

Trent McCarthy, Darebin Greens Councillor, talks about his initial work on the Climate Emergency Declaration at Darebin and the North Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), exploring ways in which to talk to councillors about climate emergency.

Trent McCarthy starts talking about declaring a climate emergency in council after around 5:30 minutes.

Mik Aidt

Mik Aidt, climate emergency campaigner and radio host, talks about the Climate Emergency Declaration petition and mobilisation campaign.

» More information about the campaign on

Bryony Edwards

Bryony Edwards, candidate for Save the Planet party in local and state elections, talks about her experience in running for local government and the opportunities it brings for campaigning on the climate emergency.

Questions to Trent McCarthy

Trent McCarthy answers three questions, and MC Adrian Whitehead rounds off the event with a talk about how councils can actually reverse global warming by helping remove CO2 and methane from the atmosphere.

The 50-minute session was organised by the Safe Climate Alliance and was held in the ‘Under the Gum’ tent at the Sustainable Living Festival on Sunday 12 February 2017 at 2:00 pm in Melbourne, Australia.

» Melbourne festival aims high: “Big impact for big change”
Interview with Sustainable Living Festival director Luke Taylor