On 31 July 2019 Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis declared a climate emergency, stating he was alarmed at the escalation of climate impacts in our city and the need for discussions to recognise the economic benefits of climate action. City of Darwin has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 as a key target for climate action.
Lord Mayors Roundtable
In December 2019 Lord Mayor Vatskalis hosted Climate Emergency Roundtables for community and business leaders, making a commitment to identify opportunities to reduce City of Darwin’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
A consensus among participants was reached on key actions required to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Everyone who attended the roundtable came away with a deeper understanding of the risks associated with inaction and the need to mitigate long-term impacts.
Agreed Priority Areas for City of Darwin
The world is past the point of business as usual being acceptable, we can no longer just reduce current emissions (although still important), we need to look at ways to sequester and offset emissions.
Advocating for and engaging with the community. The roundtable being the first step of many for collaboration and knowledge sharing with the Darwin community.
Investing in new technology and identifying innovative ways to deal with the changes likely to impact Darwin.
What’s the emergency?
Darwin is already experiencing the effects of climate change. If current climate change predictions come to the fore, we will face significant challenges to our built and natural environments, as well as personal lives. The effects of climate change include;
- More days above 30° and 35° Celsius
- Higher average temperatures
- More frequent and severe extreme weather events
- More variable and severe rainfall events
- Increased sea level rise
- More frequent and severe flooding events
- Longer dry periods
The impacts of these changes will affect every aspect of Darwin life and are already causing a range of impacts which are projected to intensify.
Climate Emergency Response Strategy
City of Darwin’s Climate Emergency Strategy details Council’s four key goals – promoting resilience and adapting to climate change, identifying economic opportunities, achieving net-zero Council-controlled emissions by 2030 and supporting our community to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040.
City of Darwin is the first municipality in tropical Australia to declare a climate emergency in response to the predicted impacts from the effects of climate change.
It is our role as a local government to show leadership and support the community to address and respond to the climate emergency.
The four goals of City of Darwin’s Climate Emergency Response are to;
- Promote resilience and adaption to climate change
- Achieve net-zero Council-controlled emissions by 2030
- Support our community to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040
- Identify economic opportunities that exist in the transition to net-zero emissions