Diversitat declares a climate emergency

September 17th 2019 For immediate release. Release date: 17/09/2019

The Geelong Ethnic Communities Council Inc is declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency today in line with our stated values: Dignity, respect and acceptance are basic values defining our humanity and must be afforded to every individual in our society. We value an ecologically sustainable environment and promote and celebrate harmony, cultural diversity, peace and social justice in our society.”

The Ethnic Communities Council’s values were formulated in a time when there was no expectation of the role of a council in taking climate action. This context has changed. Today it is clear we are facing a climate emergency which requires immediate action by us all.

Mr Martinez said “We believe, based on the facts we know today, it would be a breach of our duties as community spokespeople and custodians of our community’s interests to continue as though there is not a climate and biodiversity emergency.”

“We have a responsibility to tell the truth. To face reality, and the science, and to change the story. That is what we do when we declare a climate emergency as an organisation.” Mr Martinez said.

This man-made crises in our environment must be confronted today. The most perplexing challenge of all about the climate crisis is that we need to act on something before the problem occurs.

We are seeing it happen at the moment in Australia with the disastrous fish kills and destruction in the Barwon/Darling river and the early onset of fires in Queensland and northern NSW.

This is why we are facing an emergency. Words will be defining whether or not we manage to solve the issue in time. The question is not, “Why should we declare a climate emergency if we can’t see it?”. The right question is, “How do we take action on the climate emergency relevant to people’s lives before it turns into an emergency?”

Possibly the most wicked problem with the climate crisis is that this is a crisis that must be solved before it hits us. Which is now – and in the next decade. This is what makes it so frightening and dangerous to the younger generations, because they can see it isn’t happening.

Our youth know, that we need everyone on board – the “shared humanity”. Everyone must take action if we are to stop our emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and even to begin draw down some of all that heat-producing carbon we have put up there. How are we ever going to succeed in doing that if we don’t use the proper words to communicate how dire the situation is?

On one side of the table you sit with the United Nations General-Secretary, Sir David Attenborough, Jacinda Ardern, Greta Thunberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Leonardo diCaprio, the scientists of NASA, CSIRO, BOM and many many others, who now ask us to join them.

3 September 2019:
The AMA has joined other health organisations around the world – including the American Medical Association, the British Medical Association, and Doctors for the Environment Australia – in recognising climate change as a health emergency.

9 September 2019:
British ecologists declare climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.
The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is the professional body for ecologists and environmental managers working to manage and enhance the natural environment in the UK and Ireland. The body’s declaration calls for action from its members, governments and society on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through nature-based solutions.
→ Read more on https://cieem.net/cieem-declares-climate-emergency-and-biodiversity-crisis
→ Briefing paper: In addition to the declaration, CIEEM have published a briefing paper which summarises the current evidence and actions: ‘Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Crisis: The Facts and Figures’


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