Surf Coast Shire Council has declared a climate emergency

Community campaigner Alex Marshall explains why she is excited about her Council’s decision – and what she believes it will mean for children, youth and adult residents in the Surf Coast municipality.

Currently 975 jurisdictions in 18 countries have declared a climate emergency. Populations covered by jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency amount to 212 million citizens, with 47 million of these living in the United Kingdom. This means in Britain now roughly 70 per cent of the population lives in areas that have declared a climate emergency. In New Zealand, the percentage is even higher: 73 per cent of the population. It’s 24 per cent in Switzerland and Spain.

In Australia, where the climate emergency declaration mobilisation and petition was launched in May 2016, 43 jurisdictions representing roughly 4 million people and 15 per cent of the population have declared a climate emergency, including the government of the Australian Capital Territory, based in the capital Canberra.

→ More figures on

→ More news on – and in social media on and

Support the Surf Coast Climate Emergency Declaration on 23 July

WEAR RED and support the Surf Coast Climate Emergency Declaration – on Tuesday 23 July 2019 from 17:30 to 18:30 at the Surf Coast Shire Council.

There have been two online petitions and a physical petition, all submitted before/on Friday the 12th of July.

They are on the agenda to be acknowledged at the Surf Coast Shire council meeting on Tuesday the 23rd of July and we are asking people to attend because we want to that the community supports climate emergency declaration.

The decision will then be announced Tuesday 27th of August, and we would love for people to attend that meeting too, because that is where discussion will be had.

We are trying to get as many people to attend as possible, to show that the community support is there.

If you would like to come, please wear red and be there at 5:30pm.

For updates,
→ follow the Facebook event page:

→ follow Alex on Instagram:


Signatures have been collected via four different petitions, two on one on this website, and one on paper.

Status for the online petitions on 22 July was:

‘Surf Coast Shire Council: Declare a climate emergency’ – SCEG’s petition which is now closed as the goal of 1,000 signatures was reached in just two weeks

‘Surf Coast Shire Council: Declare a climate emergency’ on has been signed by 132 people

‘Climate emergency declaration petition to Surf Coast Shire Councillors’ – petition signed by 131 people, most of whom also wrote a message to the councillors

→ Read the messages to the Surf Coast councillors on

. . .

Below are messages to the councillors that ticked in shortly before the petition was closed:

Surfcoast Shire can be a leader and exemplar in the strong climate crisis action that is urgently needed.
Adam Fox
22 JUNE 2019 AT 8:26 AM

There is a climate emergency, you need too implement a climate emergency plan now
Karen Gloury
22 JUNE 2019 AT 12:02 PM

Dear Councillors
The Surf Coast Shire Council has shown environmental leadership on many issues including waste reduction and fracking. This declaration of a climate emergency is more crucial to our common survival than anything else.
Vicki Perrett, Geelong Sustainability

Vicki Perrett
23 JUNE 2019 AT 8:11 PM

Every Government that declares a climate emergency brings us a step closer to solving this existential crisis for humanity
Lachlan Gordon
24 JUNE 2019 AT 9:11 AM

Respect the science
Brad Homewood
24 JUNE 2019 AT 10:56 AM

It’s time to declare a climate emergency
Ariel Liddicut
24 JUNE 2019 AT 11:05 AM

Please declare a climate emergency and act now to ensure a safe future for our children and a healthy economy
Belinda Baggs
24 JUNE 2019 AT 11:19 AM

Please declare a Climate Emergency and send a message to Parliament that there are people who are gravely concerned and wish to act on the behalf of our Climate and Environment. It is time to act and take initiatives towards a carbon neutral world.
Penny Andrews
24 JUNE 2019 AT 7:44 PM

I ask that councillors declare a climate emergency. The cost of inaction is already building. We must act now to sustain life on this planet for our children.
Jono Brener
24 JUNE 2019 AT 7:47 PM

We need to make change now or our future generations will suffer the consequences of your mistakes!
Grace Styman
24 JUNE 2019 AT 7:59 PM

Dear person voted to represent our future ….nature is where we came from,.. nature is where we return. Please respect and protect the source of our existence…..Humans need to control themselves. We need to join the rest of Europe in declaring a halt to rampant fossil fuel usage for our healthy world. This is absolutely necessary.
Michael Cooper
25 JUNE 2019 AT 8:43 AM

As more and more councils, towns, cities, states and countries around the world are making the declaration an area like the Surf Coast that has so much to lose from sea rises must follow suit.
Australia is a country that stands to be severely impacted by the present and worsening climate catastrophe; please, for your constituents and the greater good declare a Climate Emergency and follow this by enacting as much to ameliorate the emergency as possible.
Ron Fletcher
25 JUNE 2019 AT 12:16 PM

It’s time to listen to the community and make our environment a priority. Please help safeguard our environment for the future and make the necessary changes to reduce our impact
Rachael Parker
25 JUNE 2019 AT 12:26 PM

The time is up. We must act now!

The effects from decades of humans fossil fuel consumption, excess consumption of meat and reliance on single use plastics is destroying our environment and the climate.

We have a federal government with it’s head up it’s own arse and a major party who are negligent to the needs of this country and the environment and so it’s time that we ask you the Councillors of the Surf Coast to step up and protect our community.

It’s time the Surf Coast Shire Council declares a climate emergency and bring the voice of the people that are screaming out for systematic change to our federal government to ensure a safe future for all future generations.



Jeremy Richardson
25 JUNE 2019 AT 1:21 PM

Please declare a climate emergency to send a powerful message to State, Federal and other local governments that this is urgent and a true emergency. We need war-time scale action to fix this.
Suzie Brown
25 JUNE 2019 AT 1:38 PM

I implore the council to implement the four actions described above.
Thank you in anticipation of a positive response to this petition.
Anne Mason
25 JUNE 2019 AT 1:47 PM

Follow the councils and countries of the world by declaring a climate emergency and beginning the task of climate and social restoration.
Dylan Mayson
25 JUNE 2019 AT 3:13 PM

Please listen and act now. Please do something, you have the power to change. I’m studying marine biology and strive to protect and support oceans starting with my home. Why is Australia so behind? Listen to the scientists and please act now. Lead the way of the future, the whole community will be behind you.
25 JUNE 2019 AT 5:56 PM

I care about the world we live in, looking after it for future generations is our job! Every living thing is dependant on the decisions you make from now on. Our future is in your hands!
Chris Fox
25 JUNE 2019 AT 7:34 PM

Please declare a climate change emergency. There is no time to waste. Let’s be a leader on this dilemma.
Graeme Biggins
25 JUNE 2019 AT 8:30 PM

I’m highly concerned about the lack of action at a government level to address climate change as an issue. It will be great to see the grass roots representatives leading by example and not waiting for our so called “leaders” to lead.
Matthew Martin
25 JUNE 2019 AT 9:57 PM

the World is dying and you have to act now to give our children a chance to survive this emergency
25 JUNE 2019 AT 10:41 PM

I love this planet. Everything we have been given is amazing and I hate seeing it slowly slip away. I don’t want oil spills in the bight, I don’t want the oceans levels to rise and the polar bears to die. I want my kids to surf the breaks I surf today and be able to travel to the places I have been and see that none of it has changed! So please I am 16 and I want to see a change now it’s an emergency!
Griffin Brown
25 JUNE 2019 AT 11:24 PM

Climate change is real. It’s having an impact globally. Declare an emergency now before it’s too late. Doing something now will potentially ease the burden later, doing nothing is not an option.
Sue Hopkins
26 JUNE 2019 AT 4:59 AM

Let’s show Australia that we are not sheep- we do not follow a backwards, indulgently, selfishly ignorant government. We can think for our selves and we know that there is a climate emergency. Be at the forefront of this. You can make a difference.
Katie Griffin
26 JUNE 2019 AT 7:09 AM

Everybody should be onboard with this, I’m petrified to think how this will affect our future if it’s left to late.
Chloe Gould
26 JUNE 2019 AT 7:18 AM

This call for climate emergency is more than a hyper-reactive response to rapid industrialisation of our beautiful coastal towns – it’s a response to fears for our future generations and the lives they are due to live. We need to act now so that we don’t spend our retirement caring for our kids while wearing face shields.
Kirsten Davis
26 JUNE 2019 AT 7:23 AM

I would appreciate not dying to global warming.
Finn Levelt
26 JUNE 2019 AT 9:49 AM

Please do something about climate change
26 JUNE 2019 AT 9:50 AM

if we don’t wanna make changes for the better we gonna be forced to make changes for the worst. we won’t have the things we take for granted and if we only realise this when the damage is done we will be slapping ourselves regretting the fact that we didn’t act. it’s disgusting that people actually think they can just sit on their bum and that money matters more than their actual quality of life. we’re blind to the fact that everything we value is in danger. including money. if we destroy the earth we will have nothing
Olympia Keon-Cohen
26 JUNE 2019 AT 9:59 AM

don’t ruin our world. we are the ones who have to undo the damage you have done, don’t be selfish.
Isabelle Boland
26 JUNE 2019 AT 10:09 AM

I’m a high school student and I want to see action
Elena Nicholls
26 JUNE 2019 AT 10:11 AM

I’m a year 12 student and i don’t know whether i should be planning for a future i may not have. Thank you for creating change and awareness on climate change as without people like you there’s no point in me planning for a future that wont exist.
26 JUNE 2019 AT 10:14 AM

Please, act to protect our beautiful home for our children and their children.
Peter Miller
26 JUNE 2019 AT 12:54 PM

Act before it is to late to do so.
Michael Hickmott
26 JUNE 2019 AT 10:54 PM

Please implement a municipality-wide climate emergency response
Maree Kelly
29 JUNE 2019 AT 11:44 AM

→ Read many more messages to the Surf Coast councillors here:


British school declares its own climate emergency

[INSPIRATIONAL]   Yes, a school can do it too.

“The Chase School is a school of excellence – and that should apply to all areas.”

The Chase School in Malvern, UK, wrote in its newsletter:

“The IPCC delivered a stark warning that we have just two years to keep temperatures from warming above 1.5 C. We’ll be living with the consequences of climate change for generations to come, and our children need to know about the future they face, especially as they will experience its impact first hand.

We want to raise awareness of climate change, acknowledge the crisis, and lead the way in action.

In declaring an emergency, we strive to reduce our carbon footprint, and keep the “reduce, reuse, repair & recycle” motto in our minds at all times.

Key Actions:
1. Increase knowledge and understanding of climate change across the school community

2. Reduce volume of printing and offset the school’s annual printing consumption by planting trees on the school site or by pledges made by others

3. Increase overall recycling and seek a reduction in energy consumption through improved recycling facilities and improved behaviour across students and staff

4. Improve drinking water facilities around the school in order to reduce single use plastic water bottles

5. Increase number of pupils and staff cycling and walking to school to create more sustainable transport

In addition to the above goals, we have compiled a short list of questions to encourage staff and students to act in accordance with a crisis, that can be displayed around the school.

* Can I walk or bike to school? Can I take the bus or train? Can I car-share?
* Do I need to buy single use plastic? Do I have a re-usable water bottle?
* Do I strive to look after my pens, books and other belongings in order to avoid unnecessary waste?

* Resources – do I need to print it? Can I reduce it to use less paper? Can I reuse it at a later date?
* Do I recycle, and encourage the pupils to recycle?
* Do I positively promote the “reduce, reuse, repair, & recycle” motto? Do I positively promote the required shift in mind-set?

We want to improve the school’s awareness of climate change, and empower students and staff to help make a difference.”

Come to Surf Coast Shire Council’s meeting this Tuesday

Ask your Councillors to declare a climate emergency
Tuesday 25 june 2019 at 6pm

→ Share on Facebook

→ More information about location, question time, agenda, etc, on:

→ Petitions – still open:

→ SCEG’s petition with 1,001 signatures – now closed:

→ More information about the climate emergency declaration mobilisation on


Podcast with Alex Marshall: Proper and immediate action on the climate emergency

This page is an excerpt from – with permission.

Guest in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 20 March 2019 was 19-year-old Alex Marshall from CACE Surf Coast & Geelong who’s calling for proper council action on the climate emergency, and leading the charge on the Surf Coast to follow the lead of over 400 other councils around the world that have declared a climate emergency – five of those in Victoria, 15 in Australia.

The Sustainable Hour team also talks over the phone with the officer at Darebin City Council whose job it is to get the practical stuff of a climate emergency sorted and making the Council’s decisions work for the community and the officers: Samantha Green from the municipality’s Environmental Education & Promotions Office.

They visit Maribyrnong Councillor Simon Crawford in the fifth Victorian council to declare a climate emergency. And we visit Darebin Councillor Trent McCarthy who has been a strong supporter of Darebins climate emergency initiatives since his climate emergency motion – the first of its kind in the world – was carried in 2016.

“There is support for declaring a climate emergency, taking action. It is seen as serious and urgent by a majority of people.”
~ Common Cause Australia, network agency

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 259 on 94.7 The Pulse:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)



RenewEconomy – 8 March 2019:
Poll finds strong majority support for declaring a climate emergency

Sign petition

Support the campaign and sign the petition on

“The world is facing a climate emergency. Our country is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Government action and policy matters. Labor is not just ready to take action here; we are impatient to take action. We know that this is in the national interest, that this is in our children’s interest, and that this is in our grandchildren’s interest.”
Mark Butler, in a speech on 4 December 2018


Feature forum at the National Sustainable Living Fesival in Melbourne in February 2019 with some of the remarkable councillors who are at the forefront of the world’s first climate emergency mobilisation effort, acting locally and spreading globally.

“City governments around the world are on the move. In the space of just 12 months, a growing number of city councils are showing extraordinary leadership as the climate crisis escalates. Now spreading into an international movement that started in Australia, city councils are stepping forward as the first level of government to declare a climate emergency. In this extraordinary development, government officials are facing up to the true level of climate risk and are stridently developing climate emergency mobilisation plans and advocating to protect their citizens.”

Cheryl Davila – Berkeley (USA)
Eduardo Martinez – Richmond (USA)
Chris Krohn – Santa Cruz (USA)
Doina Cornell – Stroud (UK)
Carla Denyer – Bristol (UK)
Kim Le Cerf – Darebin (AUS)
Natalie Abboud – Moreland (AUS)
Belinda Coates – Ballarat (AUS)
Hosted by: Gay Alcorn, Melbourne Editor Guardian Australia

Impassioned request made City of Powell River declare a climate emergency

“We are the leaders of this community and everybody is looking at us to make a difference. I just can’t sit by anymore and do these piddly things that we’re doing. We know it’s going to be expensive; we know it’s going to take staff time to build these into our financial plans but we have to start putting money into reserves. We have to make plans so at the very least if we can do this we’re taking a step forward and we’re telling the community that this is an urgent matter and we are getting in front of it as best we can at this late date.”

~ Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman, City of Powell River

City of Powell River councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said she is losing sleep over climate change. At one point during her impassioned argument on the subject at the regular council meeting on 21 February 2019, she broke into tears over her desperation.

She requested that within 90 days, city staff prepare a report outlining the greatest threats to the city, both corporate and community, with respect to climate change impacts.

It includes: estimated sea level rise, wildfire threats, increased flooding events, potential contamination of the watershed and other immediate perceived threats; beginning discussions between the city, regional district and Tla’amin Nation for establishing an advisory committee for disaster and emergency response planning with the regional manager of emergency services taking the lead; establishing “Climate Action Plan 2020 and Beyond” for a carbon-neutral City of Powell River; beginning to track financial implications of climate change impacts not only in city asset management plans but in all city departments; and becoming carbon neutral in the city’s corporate operations from 2019 and beyond.

» Powell River Peak – 6 March 2019:
City of Powell River councillor makes impassioned call to address climate change
“Council decides on its definition for ‘emergency’ plan”