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Lord Mayor’s Climate Emergency Forum Delivers Real Outcomes

Media Release
04 December 2019

The Lord Mayor’s Climate Emergency Forum held today has been declared a success, with more than 100 business leaders and community members attending and a consensus reached on the urgency of action to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis, who attended the event despite being hospitalised in the lead up, said “A climate emergency doesn’t stop because I am unwell.”

“Engagement is an important part of understanding what the community wants and expects from City of Darwin and I was determined to hear their views.”

Forum attendees heard from Climate Risk specialist Sarah Barker, who has two decades' experience as a corporate lawyer and is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on investment governance and corporate disclosure relating to climate change. 

Ms Barker said “Climate change is everyone’s concern and those who attended the Forum have a deeper understanding of the risks associated with continued inaction.”

“It no longer matters that some individuals don’t believe in climate change; the discussion has gone beyond that. The vast majority do believe, industry believes and the insurance industry believes – it is now an economic issue.”

Lord Mayor Vatskalis agreed saying "The cost of inaction is that rates will increase. City of Darwin incurred a $15M bill for the Cyclone Marcus cleanup and with more intense weather events predicted it is our duty as a local Council to take action to manage what we can and mitigate potential costs." 

Outcomes from the Forum will inform how City of Darwin progresses planning for climate change and the new Climate Change Officer will oversee this.
As a priority City of Darwin has committed to

  • Identify opportunities to reduce our contribution to climate change across all Council’s service areas
  • Develop a better understanding of local climate risk scenarios and the impact on our assets
  • Engage with the community to help reduce the disproportionate impact of Climate on disadvantaged people
  • Invest in research to ensure decisions are evidence based and we are able to measure the impact of our investments.

Staff will collate information and outcomes from the Lord Mayor’s Climate Emergency Forum will be available at the end of the week - https://www.darwin.nt.gov.au/community/programs/climate-change-and-environment/overview

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