Moreland Council votes to support Global Climate Strike

September 12, 2019 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment

No Planet B – Climate Emergency

On Wednesday night Councillors at Moreland Council adopted a resolution of supporting the Global Climate Strike on September 20. A further motion extended support to the local Moreland Extinction Rebellion group. Climate Action Moreland started promoting the global climate strike event in Melbourne in May 2019.

Moreland Council was one of the leading Councils in Australia, and globally, to declare a climate emergency (unanimously) in September 2018.

Last year Moreland Council also adopted a Zero Carbon Moreland 2040 Framework, which included acknowledgement that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local Councils. Council’s target of a zero emissions Moreland by 2040 is 10 years ahead of the State Government’s target for reaching zero emissions in Victoria.

The motion was moved by Cr Jess Dorney and seconded by Cr Abboud.

That Council:
1. Publicly declares its support for the Global Climate Strike on 20 September 2019.
2. Declares its support for the three demands of the School Strike 4 Climate:
• No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine.
• 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030.
• Governments fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel industry workers.
3. Encourages and supports community participation by inviting local workplaces (in particular Council contractors), neighbouring Councils, and schools to participate through Council’s social media channels.

There was an amendment to point 3 to also encourage Council staff to attend.

A further amendment put forward by Cr Sue Bolton for Council staff to be allowed to attend on full pay was not debated for lack of a seconder, after some discussion whether that would contravene Council’s financial governance criteria.

Support for climate emergency Extinction Rebellion events

Councillor Bolton followed the motion on support for the Global Climate Strike with a motion to support climate emergency events being organised by Extinction Rebellion. This includes offering use of Council hall space to the local Moreland Extinction Rebellion Group to the end of the year.

Officer comments:

Council’s adopted Zero Carbon Moreland 2040 Framework includes acknowledgement that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local Councils. Council’s target of a zero emissions Moreland by 2040 is 10 years ahead of the State Government’s target for reaching zero emissions in Victoria. Climate and ecological emergency campaigners are calling for emergency action by governments globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.

Extinction Rebellion identifies itself as ‘an international apolitical network using non- violent direct action to persuade governments to act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse’. XR Melbourne is a new and growing local branch organising public talks, training in non-violent direct action, People’s Assemblies and a recent ‘Ride-In to Die-In’ on Sydney Road.

Blockade IMARC defines identifies itself as a ‘community alliance committed to putting a stop to the mass destruction caused by extractive industries across the globe’. It is organising a blockade of the International Mining and Resource Conference (IMARC), which they describe as ‘an annual meeting of environmental vandals and climate criminals’, meeting in Melbourne from 28 to 31October 2019.

The resolution passed after a debate, but this was a much narrower vote in favour.

Councillor Tapinos questioned whether the International Mining and Resorces Conference and Expo (IMARC) Extinction Rebellion blockade event would be non-violent, that support for an event which resulted in violence could tarnish the reputation of Council. He also asked about the type of organisation Extinction Rebellion is, who was behind it politically and questioned its commitment to non-violence.

Councillor Bolton replied that the Extinction Rebellion is non-party political in nature, and is based on the fact we have a climate emergency with a strong commitment to the strategy of non-violent civil disobedience, sometimes also called Non-Violent Direct Action.

Extinction Rebellion started in the UK in 2018 with civil disobedient events in London, which resulted in arrests but no violence.

We have a climate emergency (which Council has acknowledged) with state and Federal levels of Government failing to take necessary policy actions to match what the scientists say we need to do.

We suggest Cr Lambros Tapinos reads the Extinction Rebellion strategy, which says:

At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it is necessary- we are asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change.

We aren’t focussed on traditional systems like petitions or writing to our MPs and more likely to take risks (e.g. arrest / jail time). We don’t want or need everyone to get arrested – for some this is not a good idea – but we do want everyone involved to support civil disobedience as a tool.

We are promoting mass “above the ground” civil disobedience – in full public view. This means economic disruption to shake the current political system and civil disruption to raise awareness. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience that this causes.

We have made some decisions about security and our interactions with the police. We have made a strategic decision to communicate with the police about what we are doing when we believe that is more likely to enable things to go well (which we can’t always be sure of).

The local Moreland XR group held a successful Ride-in and die-in on Sydney Road on Saturday August 17. See Facebook report.

The motion for support of climate emergency actions:

With Council’s strong support for the environment and its declaration of a Climate Emergency and the need for urgent action, Council recognises and supports the actions by community organisations to build support for urgent action by all levels of government and declares its public support for:

1. The week of action initiated by Extinction Rebellion on 7 October through Council’s social media channels.

2. The development of a local Extinction Rebellion Moreland Group by offering free use of venues for meetings till the end of 2019 if required and promotion through Council’s social media channels.

3. The 3-day protest organized by Blockade IMARC outside the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) on 28-31 October 2019 at the Melbourne Convention Centre, by inviting them to advertise the event on Council’s website as a community event.

Extinction Rebellion Melbourne have two major events coming up:

Climate Action Moreland appreciates Council’s climate action and encouraging community support for the global climate strike and other climate emergency actions at upcoming events.

We look forward to seeing, and perhaps even proudly marching behind Moreland’s new climate banner.

Entry filed under: Climate Emergency, Moreland Council, news, rallies & protests. Tags: , , , , , .

Submission: Retaining trees as heritage and to moderate heat in Gandolfo Gardens with Skyrail construction Brunswick MP calls for #springst politicians to attend #globalClimatestrike

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