Extinction Rebellion’s campaigning efforts paid off on the 16th July 2019, as Melbourne City Council followed Sydney and Hobart in declaring a Climate Emergency.

Australia’s second largest city’s council voted unanimously for a Climate Emergency Declaration at a Future Melbourne Committee meeting, which was conducted at Melbourne Town Hall and chaired by Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“I personally, absolutely acknowledge that we are in a state of emergency with respect to climate change,” said Councillor Dr Cathy Oke, who moved the motion.

“The term we’ve used – emergency – is absolutely spot on and accurate,” concurred fellow Councillor Dr Jackie Watts.

Extinction Rebellion petitioned for the declaration and was mentioned in the official motion document, which was moved as an “Item of Urgent Business”. A representative from Extinction Rebellion submitted documents circulated to committee members prior to the event, and briefly addressed the councillors during a period near the beginning of the meeting allowing questions from the public.

Extinction Rebellion was also mentioned in item nine of the motion document, which included a recommendation to invite representatives from XR to “present their concerns on climate change and biodiversity loss at a future Councillor briefing session.”

Fridays for Future and Climate Strike were also mentioned.

The City of Melbourne is the latest in a growing list of councils around the world to declare a Climate Emergency. Sydney City Council declared a Climate Emergency in late June with regional hubs such as Wagga Wagga and Noosa also declaring Climate Emergencies in early July. The Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation website list over 740 jurisdictions in 17 countries have declared a Climate Emergency. Globally the size of the population covered by these jurisdictions is approximately 141 million people.

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