Get your council into climate emergency mode

This campaign supports individuals and groups to meet with their local councils with the aim of getting them to declare a climate emergency. It provides tools and advice on building a climate emergency campaign.
To have local councils declare climate emergencies.


Our mission
CACE is campaigning to get councils to declare a climate emergency and move into emergency mode. 

The ultimate goal is to get governments around the world to act at emergency speed to reverse global warming as soon as possible to restore the globe’s temperature to pre-industrial levels. The sooner this occurs the less people and ecosystems will die and the greater likelihood we have averting a major catastrophe or run away climate change leading to hot house earth.

The council campaign are a step in achieving this ultimate goal. 

Darebin in the state of Victoria, Australia,  was the first council to declare a climate emergency and over 1800 other councils and governments around the world have now followed, generating their own momentum and are helping to propel more councils to do the same.  This momentum will push state and federal governments to act on the climate emergency worldwide. 

Watch this great TED talk to help understand what we are trying to do.  Derek Sivers –  How to Start a Movement Ted Talk.

In the context of this talk and climate emergency declarations we are now chasing a rush of ‘dancers’.  In the context of a government entering emergency mode we are looking for our first ‘dancer’.
* Pour les traductions de ces pages dans Français s’il vous plaît aller à

Actions to take
1. Getting ready
2. Meet with your Councillors
3. Build and win a climate emergency declaration campaign if your initial councillor meetings fail
4. Success! Support your council’s move to a climate emergency mobilisation
5. Full Mobilisation
6. Beyond Local Council

Step 1. Getting ready
The very first step is to do some research to understand what a Climate Emergency response is. Understanding a Climate Emergency response is one of the things people constantly get wrong or misinterpret.  Go the the Getting Ready page and follow the links.

Depending on the sort of person you are and your life experience you may feel ready to jump right in and meet with your councillors tomorrow, or you might want to spend a some time preparing for the meeting.

No matter who you are we do recommend taking some time to get ready as this is a complex issue and many councillors will need someone to help them understand the following:
1. why we are in an emergency
2. why a council should acknowledge we are in a climate emergency
3. what a council should do once they acknowledge we are in a climate emergency
4. why councils should enter emergency mode and what this means.

If you want to jump right in, head to the CEDAMIA’s Climate Emergency Declaration local council action kit page,  download a Councillor support declaration, print it out at Officeworks and knock on your Councillor’s front door.

Or you can spend a couple of afternoons working through a guide we have developed here to improve your chances of success. 

Step 2. Meet with your Councillors
Meet with your councillors individually, get them to sign their support for a Climate Emergency Declaration and ask them to adopt a climate emergency response within their own council.  We unpack meeting with your Councillors here.

Many groups skip this step and go straight for a petition.  We do not recommend this as the key issues involved: global warming, emergency mobilisation and a councils role in emergency mobilisation are all complex.   Time is required to explain and discuss the information with the councillor before they can make a decision. If you are going straight for a petition please use the Cedamia petition (available here)  rather than other versions i.e. Greenpeace which originally had the non climate emergency goal of net zero by 2040.

If face to face meetings are not your thing, and you want to act,  write your councillors an email then go onto  to step 3. “Build and win a campaign” (see below).

Remember the biggest criticisms we get from councillors is that community members do not contact them about the climate emergency!

Step 3. Build and win a campaign
If your council doesn’t want to support a Climate Emergency Declaration, you will need to build a campaign. Here we give you a range of ideas and strategies on how you can help your council declare a Climate Emergency. 

Even if you fail to win a climate emergency declaration you can use your campaign to educate councillors and your community about the climate emergency and demand some strong actions by council.  See CACE’s post declaration pages and Dale Martin’s Local Government Climate Emergency Tools Kit for ideas. 

Step 4. Support your council’s move to a Climate Emergency Mobilisation
If your council does make a climate emergency acknowledgement they will need your help to bring the community with them as they implement their response and hopefully move to a full mobilisation. Here are some ways you could do that:
* make sure there is a strong commitment for climate emergency action in the Council Plan (see council plans campaign page (TBA))
* get your councillors to put climate emergency actions in your Council’s CEO’s KPIs
* join a climate emergency reference panel
* input into their draft Climate Emergency Plan
* defend the council and supportive councillors in your local media
* continue to run climate emergency education events and activities for the public
* keep the pressure up by attending council meetings, writing and meeting with councillors and making your presence felt. 

You might find you only get part way there. For example, your council might acknowledge the climate emergency and do nothing else, or they might acknowledge a climate emergency and then adopt a range of non-climate emergency policies under the climate emergency banner which undermine the broader climate emergency campaign, or they might not declare and implement a range of strong policies. 

Ultimately you will need to continue to campaign until your council implements a genuine climate emergency response and enters a full emergency mode.  

Step 5. Full Mobilisation
Councils have been so far reluctant to enter full emergency mobilisation mode, however this is the critical next step in achieving a significant state and federal government response. 

Until we get our first few councils to fully mobilise and mobilisation becomes the accepted standard you will most likely need to start your community campaign again.  

CACE provides a step by step description on what this means for councils to enter an emergency mode and how it can be implemented on our pages here. This includes a simple to understand 10 point check list of actions to under take.

To understand why it is vital to undertake a full emergency mobilisation you can read CACE Director Adrian Whitehead’s blog post about why we need to get our councils to mobilise. 

Step 6. Beyond local council
Councils won’t be able to reverse global warming by themselves, so head to the Climate Emergency Declaration website and join the campaign to get our state, federal and national governments moving into Emergency Mode!

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Campaign's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

Campaign Details

Group Leading this Campaign: Council and Community Action in the Climate Emergency

Campaign Target Type:

Who this Campaign is Targeting: Local Councils

Main Issue of the Campaign:

Campaign Ran From: 2019 to 2024

Campaign Outcome:

Geographic Range of Activity:


Get your council into climate emergency mode