Climate emergency vote fails but this is just the start for Brisbane
by Max MacBride
31 July 2019
Brisbane’s climate emergency declaration vote has fallen short today. It’s a disappointing result, but with a second vote all but certain, now is the time to lift our game. So many people in Brisbane mobilised to get the climate emergency firmly in the public eye. Whether they signed a petition, emailed a councillor or turned out to the rally today - those efforts matter. Hobart lost its initial vote too, which then ignited a wave of support that led to one of Australia’s first climate emergency declarations. We have laid the groundwork for Brisbane to do the same, and it'll take more people stepping up to take action to make it a reality.
I’d be lying if I said the outcome of this evening’s vote wasn’t disappointing. It’s not the result that people like you and I wanted, people who want to fight for the safe and vibrant Brisbane we all deserve. We desperately need a council that will put its hand up to fight the climate crisis, especially when their Federal counterparts lack the leadership to do so.
That being said, it’d be downright dishonest to tell you that the fight is over – when it’s only just beginning.
Hobart – one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency – fell short in its initial attempt to declare an emergency. Then the locals got organised, banded together, and made sure the councillors knew exactly how the people of Hobart felt.
But it didn’t happen overnight, and it needed people in the community coming together make their voices heard. Brisbane can do the same, but it needs people like you to make it happen.
That’s why I’m asking you to join Brisbane’s own Climate Emergency Campaigning group – Brisbane Break Free – to ensure that the Brisbane City council does the right thing, commits to 100% renewable energy targets, and shows the leadership that people want to see.
Break Free groups around the country are meeting and organising to put climate emergency declarations on their council’s agendas. From Adelaide to Noosa, from Kingsborough to Sydney, everyday people are putting our climate front and centre. And now that this debate is alive and well in Brisbane – we’re in a great position to change minds and win.
Over the past week, Greenpeace supporters sent over 550 emails to local councillors with personalised messages explaining why a Brisbane climate emergency declaration matters to you.
We got over 1450 Brisbanites to sign a petition calling on the council to step up and take action.
And this afternoon scores of local people marched down to council chambers to use your voices, wave your banners and fly the flag for everyone across the country that wants our politicians to do more.
In such a short period of time, we have achieved so much. Imagine what we’ll achieve if we commit to redoubling our efforts today.
Please don’t be disheartened by today’s vote. The fact that we got this motion to a vote is a feat in itself, and the fact that we have staunch opposition means we’re doing something right.
But what opponents of this motion fail to understand, is that the local councils represent the people who live there. And people power always wins.
No tabloid newspaper or federal politician can change what the people of Brisbane want. They want clean air, safe and flourishing river systems and a cool and temperate climate for their children to grow up in. With your help, we can ensure that when the next vote arrives – these truths are at the forefront of the councillors mind.
We’ve come so far. Let’s keep our foot on the pedal, and ensure Brisbane gets the result it deserves.