There is a climate emergency and we all need to acknowledge it. In order to prevent runaway climate change, which we will be unable to control, everybody needs to take action.
In October 2018, the IPCC estimated that we had just 12 years to limit global warming to 1.5°C. To achieve that, world governments, cities, industry, businesses and individuals must all change their behaviour, taking action that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, as a result, limit the effects of global warming.
Sometimes it seems easier to just turn away and say this is all too hard. At YCAN we don’t think it is! By working cooperatively with a common goal, climate action becomes uplifting rather than completely depressing.
YCAN has been lobbying City of Yarra to recognise that there is a climate emergency. And we have had some success. We take some credit for the fact that the City of Yarra declared a climate emergency in Feb 2017.
We also lobbied the City of Yarra to develop a Climate Emergency Plan. Late last year, a motion was raised to do that and YCAN spoke in support of it. The motion was passed unanimously. YCAN will closely follow the progress of this plan which we maintain should cover Councils assets and provide programs to assist residents to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Climate Emergency banner at the Fitzroy Town Hall
We are now reminding Yarra staff and Councillors that action has to be urgent and ongoing.
We are demanding that Yarra’s defunct Bicycle Action Strategy be replaced by an Active Transport Strategy (see separate campaign). This strategy should introduce initiatives to encourage residents to reduce car trips by walking, cycling and using public transport. Reducing the number of vehicles on Yarra’s roads will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Yarra.
What actions should government take?
We need urgent action from all levels of government on climate warming to ensure safety for ourselves, future generations, and all other life on Earth. Success means governments taking unprecedented action that recognises the climate emergency. Key actions will have to:
- build a zero-emissions economy (e.g. by transitioning to renewable energy)
- transform our agricultural system
- quickly transition to low emissions transport
- cool the planet (e.g. through massive reforestation).
What actions can we all take?
We can all:
- where possible, use renewable energy
- increase energy efficiency in our homes and workplaces
- use zero-emissions transport (walk or ride) and public transport
- embrace sustainable consumption patterns, a climate-friendly diet and minimise our waste
- lobby local Councillors and MPs to take urgent climate action consistent with an emergency.