Members statement: Climate Change
Recently we have watched with horror as severe floods have devastated Pakistan, killing a thousand people and displacing millions. This follows floods and torrential rain in India and Bangladesh and record-high temperatures across South Asia, and China is in severe drought. These are just the latest in a series of extreme climate events that have hit the world just this year. Europe is experiencing a terrible drought. Riverbeds are drying up, revealing relics of historic wars. All this means that crop harvests will be reduced, affecting food supply. In California there have been more than 5.7 million acres burnt so far this year, with more than 39 000 fires recorded. Climate change is here, and it is wreaking havoc.
As despairing as that reality is, it is important to remember that there is still time to act. There are so many good elected representatives, especially in local government, who have never lost hope and who keep leading the rest of the country and indeed the world. I am so proud that one of those champions of change is Darebin council in my electorate, who were the first jurisdiction in the world to declare a climate emergency, in 2016. They began a global movement, with now over 2000 local governments in 39 countries having followed their lead. Last Monday Darebin endorsed, having implemented their first plan, an approach to developing their next climate emergency plan. This complements groundbreaking work by the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment, who have lodged a planning scheme amendment to improve our planning laws. These examples highlight that we can and must act urgently. Thank you to our local government sector for once again leading the way with hope and determination.