Sample email

Dear Mayor and Councillors of the [insert name of the LGA],

Our future climate will be determined by our actions now. By the time my children are my age, the billions of choices that will determine whether their world is hotter and more dangerous will have been made. Some of these choices will be yours. Please pass the motion below, and safeguard their future.

Yours faithfully, etc.

[Name + Postcode]

That Council: 

  1. welcome the release by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the report entitled ‘Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’;

  2. note that this report states that ‘it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land’, and that this is making extreme climate events (including heat waves, heavy rainfall, and, in some regions, droughts) more frequent and severe;

  3. note that the report stresses that only rapid, near term reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases, can limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius;

  4. note that the impacts of a warming of 2 degrees or more would lead to a substantial increase in the likelihood of extreme heat waves, heavy precipitation, and droughts (both agricultural and ecological);

Background information:

The IPCC’s ‘code red’

What does the report say?

An opportunity for leadership

All levels of government have a duty to keep their residents safe, but the Federal Government’s leadership is crucial in responding to the scale of the risk of climate impacts. Following the worst ever bushfires in eastern Australia in 2019–2020, 150 experts from around the country determined how Australia should respond to the growing risks of extreme weather disasters. The Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan made 165 broad-ranging recommendations.

  1. Addressing the root cause of the climate crisis and worsening extreme weather by accelerating Australia’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions need to plummet this decade, with net zero emissions achieved very soon thereafter.
  2. Urgently implementing all 80 recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, including providing the necessary funding.
  3. Increasing funding for research into climate change and extreme weather, including new and more detailed climate projections that better inform risk assessments and the impacts of such disasters on human health.
  4. Investing in communities so they are better prepared when disasters strike and can recover more quickly; recognizing that preparedness saves lives and many dollars in avoided disaster recovery costs.
  5. Enhancing Australia’s capabilities for responding to extreme weather disasters in line with advice from State and Territory agencies. This includes better resourcing and coordination so that responses are swift, coordinated, and stop emergencies from escalating into disasters
  6. Improving community engagement, education and support around extreme weather so that individuals are better informed, prepared and empowered to act. This includes investing in adequate warning systems and locally-led initiatives such as community resilience hubs.
  7. Making rapid and comprehensive recovery from extreme weather events a priority for all levels of government. This requires fast, evidence-based and transparent access to disaster recovery payments for survivors, so help gets to people on the ground quickly.
  8. Preparing Australian infrastructure, including homes and community facilities, for extreme weather events. This includes reforming Building Standards and appropriate rebates and subsidies for retrofitting to ensure solutions are affordable to all.
  9. Involving health and family violence experts in disaster planning and response coordination and ensuring adequate access to health services including mental health and family violence services, and access to telehealth for all those affected by disasters.
  10. Providing adequate funding to support the critical role of Local Governments in disaster preparedness and recovery, so that they have the resources to build resilient communities.

No community within Australia remains untouched by climate change. Our country is highly exposed to impacts including record-breaking heat, more dangerous bushfire seasons, coastal flooding and supercharged storms. These extreme weather events are worsening, and the impacts are reverberating throughout our communities.

Worsening extreme weather, driven by climate change, is compounding costs for councils. This includes mounting damage to council-owned assets, rising insurance premiums and increasing liability risks.

Australians love renewables