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November 27, 2022

Lismore declares a Climate Emergency

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Cr Elly Bird. Photo supplied.

Eve Jeffery

In a bittersweet ‘win’ last night at the Lismore Council meeting a motion was unanimously passed to declare a planetary Climate Emergency.

Councillor Elly Bird’s motion asked that Council publicly declare the world is in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government; that human-induced climate change represents one of the greatest threats to humanity, civilisation, other species, and the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems; and that it is possible to prevent the most harmful outcomes if societies take sustained emergency action, including local councils

Lismore City Council LGA is likely to be substantially affected by climate impacts

Notes on the motion included that Lismore City Council LGA is likely to be substantially affected by climate impacts, particularly floods, bushfires, drought, heatwaves and sea level rise, and that Council acknowledges that agriculture is one of the leading industries in Lismore, and that it is at risk from climate change; and that Council also acknowledges that the Northern Rivers region is facing significant impacts from sea-level rise.

The motion asked that Council – reaffirms commitment to its 100% Renewable Energy Target and continues to actively pursue opportunities to meet this target; calls for a briefing on how the current Community Strategic Plan (CSP) addresses the climate emergency; maintains strong partnerships with local Emergency Services and seeks funding opportunities to work with them to deliver disaster preparedness information and initiatives across the LGA and writes to the Member for Page, the Member for Lismore, the Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW, the Federal Environment Minister, and the NSW Environment Minister advising them of Council’s resolution and urging them to acknowledge a climate emergency and to act to address the crisis.

We are tracking for a minimum of 1.5 degrees increase in global temperatures

During the meeting, Cr Bird said that if we carry on as we are now, with no reduction in emissions, we are tracking for a minimum of 1.5 degrees increase in global temperatures by somewhere between 2040 and 2050. ‘At 1.5 degrees, increases in extreme storms and the severity and regularity of droughts will occur.

After the motion was passed Cr Bird said she was very pleased that Lismore City Council has become the 33rd Council in Australia to declare a Climate Emergency.

‘The world is rapidly changing and we are seeing the impacts of Climate Change all around us,’ she said. ‘We need action at all levels of government, and local government has a significant role to play.

Of course, what would be even better is for our State and Federal Governments to recognise the fundamental truth of what is happening and act swiftly and decisively to transition our energy use from fossil fuels to renewables, and also to prepare our society for the impacts that are coming.

Sadly we know that they are slow to respond, and that they are beholden to the fossil fuel industry, so in the absence of their leadership Lismore City Council will continue to progress our 100% Renewable Energy Plan and we will also work to improve our Disaster Preparedness and Community Resilience.

Floods and heatwaves

‘We’ll see more floods and heatwaves, with resulting impacts on food production and access to clean safe drinking water,’ said Cr Bird.

‘We are seeing these impacts now. Right now, Tenterfield, Guyra, Armidale, Stanthorpe and Tamworth are running out of water.’

Cr Bird reminded councillors that worldwide, more than 600 million people live in areas that will be impacted by sea-level rise.

‘We have two options that we need to focus on: Reducing emissions and preparing for the impacts that are coming.

‘So, tonight, as well as joining the global call for Governments to declare a Climate Emergency and take appropriate action – this motion reinforces our commitment to our Renewable Energy Target, and our commitments to partnerships with our Emergency Services to increase our Community Disaster Preparedness.’

‘I encourage the whole community to stay active and to keep raising your voices on this important issue’.

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  1. People can also radically reconsider all their future fossil fuel driven aspirations to drive, fly or cruise ship their way into life oblivion.

    Releasing carbon dioxide by burning what was safely buried under the ground for hundreds of millions of years, is causing a massive reduction of heat loss into space, which used to keep us in a safe temperature range.

    We can all reduce meat consumption too, as animals under human control, emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases too.

    We can all choose what climate we leave our kids, NOW..

  2. Many thanks Cr Elly Bird and Lismore Council.
    We have now become a big part of ‘the
    solution’ against the problem. Fossil fuel can
    now take a back seat – hopefully – to nowhere.

  3. Congratulations Cr. Elly and Lismore! Another important thing we can do is leave the trees in the ground. According to David Attenborough they are the best technology for carbon capture. With the 6th mass extinction also underway we need all the native habitat we can get – something the current NSW forestry laws do not seem to have considered at all.

  4. I am one of those people who believe that climate change posturing and declarations of global emergencies by various groups and organisations is unhelpful and counterproductive. The basic reasoning is that the more serious a problem is the less likely anything gets done about it. There is a huge and almost unfettered desire around globe for increased consumption and economic expansion. Australia just had an election where it was blatantly obvious that the electorate went for GDP growth over everything else. You don’t have to be a scientist or have Einstein’s IQ to be able to understand the research out there is clearly showing climate change has the potential the push our civilizations off a cliff. You also don’t have to have Einstein’s IQ to understand that human beings want to consume and will vote for, tolerate and/or support any political movement that promises to and then delivers GDP growth. There is a fundamental and profound correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and rising GDP. The solution is not to scream about climate change and the need to reduce emissions. The solution, if there is one, is to foster the technologies and the science of managing the inevitable. Will technology solve the problem? You can say that’s unlikely, but do you really think ranting on about a climate emergency is going to do anything other than switch people off. Let’s face it we are all going to die. I think most of us do not worry about that too much yet by any definition dying is an oncoming train wreck of epic proportions. We are good ignoring stupendously serious problems, its lucky that we are.

    • Well said. Climate changes one way then back the other way for years at a time. Can’t prevent change in any form, it is what it is and wasting money on stupid ideas is not going to work. Didn’t stop the iceage, wont stop floods or droughts! We need more dams, as population is growing and more resources are needed for the generations to come

  5. Interestingly Lismore Council Dump currently has an out of control fire burning for several days spewing god knows what chemicals into the atmosphere whilst our councillors sit around and pat themselves on the back for declaring a climate emergency…. I wonder, did they look out the window and notice the polluted sky?

    But hey, well done guys, you made a declaration…

    • Pete, I have a mate who works at the dump. Every single week LCC buries tonnes of recycling in land fill because they can’t do anything with it. Concentrate on important things LCC not motions that are only useful for headlines.

  6. What does the acknowledgement of climate change have to do with council business of supplying services, building infrastructure and development of our region. Was there any pertinent council business conducted that actually affects current ratepayers.

    Seems some councillors have second agendas they would rather push than perform the duties for which they were elected. Council seems to be side tracked by issues that they really do not have to be involved in.

    • True. And the roads there are horrendous and badly in need of repair. Wish they’d do something about them instead of taking up federal issues.

  7. What a hornet’s nest. Shades of WW 3. 1/ Council’s business is
    just like state & federal government business; when they slack
    off we have a right to let them know that there’s a difference
    between right & wrong. We can & do just that because we pay
    their wages. Because people are far move savvy today & it’s
    difficult to fool the public. 2/ Playing Einstein… Aussie slang
    is more likely to mean [IQ & all] GDP equals [not gross but]
    DDP = Disgusting Domestic Product as a ‘divine order’ our
    leaders bow to as if each & every product was the last…
    ‘think Agent Orange’ & the suffering at Vietnam. Real
    progress is anti-rip-off & a halt to war-mongering along
    with over-sea’s sell outs. 3/ Involvement is expected &
    respected. The world’s changed – like it or not. I’m not
    pleased with many of the changes but I will not sell out
    this country or the planet for anyone. That’s what is taking
    place right now. Admit it. Make a mistake… then fix it.

  8. It’s to late you can’t stop the money wheel,, hopefully technology will beat doomsday and we build a starship instead of a warship

  9. Been there – seen it – done it. Worked 3 & a half days at
    Maleny tip each week from 1990 to 2000. Also seen
    mulch-pile go up… it often happens. Now, back then,
    just about all plastics could be recycled & as an unpaid
    [for 3 years] staff member we recycled by hand & used
    old wool-presses for cans, cardboard, milk bottles, juice
    & all other containers… plastics 2/3/5/ & so on. That no
    longer happens because there’s no real market nb;
    China doesn’t want it. With that out of the way, what’s
    next! Everyone’s got to die sometime but abusing the
    messenger is a sad day for humankind. Not a good
    example for students. My great grandchildren would
    not be impressed.

  10. Worry about local issues not STATE or federal matters, you are local gov not the other 2, you should remember off local business dose not prosper the town will slowly die, declaring a climate emergency is just so kindergarten politics, go to China,India Europe,USA, protest to them if we shut down our entire country it would not make any difference, look around China has a pop of 1.5 billion India the same what do we have ,that’s right 25 million, Lismore worry about getting your budget under control look at what you can cut from the top down not the bottom up, remember if it’s not good for your local business it’s not good for your town gov locally stop pandering to the squealing minitory

  11. Well done Lismore! Let’s hope that many more councils follow your lead to make it a national campaign before it’s too late. There are many people that believe global warming is nothing but global scam and many more who simply don’t want to know because the changes required are drastic and too hard to deal with. It’s actually quite frightening, I think society we’ve been too spoilt the past 50 or so years.

  12. Hi Brett, I still reckon the ‘money wheel’ can come to
    a halt. Like minded people of all ages can turn the
    tide on state & federal government platforms & the
    Media Ownership Madness that presently appears
    to hold the country at ransom. The people have
    nothing to lose once it’s understood that ‘fear’ may
    feel uncomfortable but by far worse is the proof
    that fear is being used as a weapon. To demean
    the public is not in the interest of this land-mass
    still controlled by the United Kingdom. Yes, it’s a
    sorry state of affairs we have here. Serfdom smells
    to high hell so let us just get rid of it.

  13. Every such declaration serves to educate the public to the reality of human-induced environmental degradation and to isolate those who choose wilful ignorance and profits-at-any-cost.

  14. Many Thanks, To LCC, Chambers Of Councilors;
    On Becoming The 33rd Council Of Australia To The Effects Of Climate Emergency/Climate Change, & To Cr.Elly Bird For Raising The Subject, As It’s Of Much Importance; To Australia’s 1st Nation People, The Environment.
    On Behalf Of My People, The Local Widjabul Wai-bul Elders/ Clans, & The Aboriginal Advisory Group Of LCC. Again Thank You Councilors..


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