A petition calling on the House of Representatives to a declare a climate emergency attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures, but a recent motion in Parliament failed.
The petition request closed at midnight last night with 370,004 signatures; with more than 17,000 signatures added since we mentioned the petition yesterday. It sought not only a declaration but also the introduction of legislation “that will with immediacy and haste reduce the causes of anthropogenic climate change”.
Earlier this week, the Government blocked the Greens’ climate emergency declaration. The Greens’ motion was supported by Labor.
“The first step to addressing a problem is admitting you have a problem,” said Greens MP Adam Bandt. “We will keep fighting for Parliament to face the reality of the climate crisis.”
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor was scathing of the attempt, saying of the Greens:
“Talk about symbolism! The party of protest is all about grand symbolic gestures and emotive language, but has absolutely no idea about the real and practical needs of everyday Australians.”
Labor also copped an earful from Minister Taylor for its role in the attempt. Mr. Taylor then went on to say the Coalition had a track record of meeting and beating targets.
“We’re on track to beat our 2020 targets by 367 million tonnes. That is the envy of the world.”
While the Federal Government may be resistant to making a declaration, local government has been stepping up to the plate. 63 councils across Australia have done so, the latest being Rural City of Murray Bridge in South Australia on Monday.
“As a result of the declaration the Council will prepare a Climate Emergency Plan that will include strategies to reduce Council’s carbon footprint, reduce waste, reduce water use and help prevent negative environmental impacts,” says a statement from Council.
One way Murray Bridge Council could significantly decrease its carbon footprint (and energy costs) is through increased use of solar power – an option it has only started using in the last couple of years.