A PROACTIVE, climate-conscious teenager has started a petition to convince the City of Cockburn to declare a climate emergency.
Lucas Blackman has launched a bottom-up campaign to convince Cockburn to add their voice to a growing chorus of local governments speaking out against climate change.
The Kennedy Baptist College student has started an online petition, which has amassed more than 400 signatures, calling for the City of Cockburn to declare a climate emergency.
More than 70 councils across Australia have already done so.
The Hammond Park resident, who has attended climate strikes and started a campaign to get his school to stop using plastic straws, said he was frustrated by a lack of eco-friendly action at federal level.
“Like many other young people across the globe, I am concerned about my future. I believe not enough is being done by our leaders, so I decided to take things in my hands,” he said.
“The planet is on fire and we all need to acknowledge that first. Since our Federal Government refuses to acknowledge the problem, I believe we need a bottom-up approach.”
“Once every local council declares climate emergency, the federal government will be forced to face the reality.”
City of Cockburn sustainability officer Jennifer Harrison said the City had a proven track record when it came to being eco-friendly and had initiated several programs, both internally and externally, over the past 20 years to battle climate change.
“The City of Cockburn has been proactively reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 20 years since joining the Cities for Climate Protection in 1999,” she said.
“Cockburn became a signatory to the WALGA Climate Change Declaration in 2012 and joined the Cities Power Partnership in 2019 to collaborate with other local governments to create a more sustainable future.”
The City has offered to meet with Lucas to discuss his ideas and is currently developing a Climate Change Strategy and Zero Carbon Plan for 2020-2030, which will be developed in consultation with Elected Members, staff and the community.
Among the actions under consideration is whether the City should declare a Climate Emergency. The City will seek input from Elected Members and the community on this decision.
Lucas said he was worried about the future of the planet and hoped the City would support his motion.
“What I am really concerned about is the lack of real action being taken by our politicians and governments at all levels,” he said.
“Cockburn council has always been at the forefront of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable living.
“Declaring a climate emergency is the natural next step for the council so our targets are in alignment with international emission targets that Australia is lagging behind currently.”