Climate emergency declaration and its impacts on the sector and the community

In this episode, we talk with Steph Amir and Trent McCarthy, two councillors at Darebin City Council about council’s decision to be the first in Australia to declare a climate emergency on 5 December 2016, what was involved in doing so and the implications.

About our guest speakers

Trent McCarthy was first elected to Darebin Council in 200 on a climate action platform.  Since then Trent has led the development of Darebin’s climate policy including proposing the world's first government level climate emergency declaration on the 5th of December 2016. 

Trent is the founder of Climate Emergency Australia a network of 100 Australian councils calling for urgent action by all levels of government.  He is also the co-founder of Darebin’s Solar Saver Programme which is installing solar on 4000 homes and businesses and has a focus on low income households. Trent has championed the development of the Local Government Power Purchase Agreement switching 48 Victorian councils to renewable energy and accounting for 45% of all electricity used by local government. 

Trent is the proud parent of two primary school student strikers.

Steph Amir was elected to the City of Darebin in 2016.  Originally a zoologist, Steph’s decision to run for council was driven by the need for evidence-based decision making at all levels of government.  

She is a member of the Merri Creek Management Committee and Chair of the Sex, Sexuality and Gender Diversity Committee.  She has also previously chaired the Darebin Bicycle Advisory Committee and served as a member of the Darebin Nature Trust, Darebin Arts Ambassadors Committee and Melbourne Innovation Centre.

On council she has been a strong advocate for improved cycling infrastructure, contributing to the creation of three new bridges, the implementation of the Octopus Schools Program and safety improvements for cyclists across Darebin.  

She lives in Preston with her partner and daughter.

Darebin City Council was the first Australian council to declare a climate emergency in 2016. The number has risen sharply since then to and over 100 local governments in Australia and New Zealand  have now declared a climate emergency according to the latest data from Cedamia. Globally, over 1,300 local governments have declared a climate emergency.

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