Step up your climate action and advocacy

Photo montage of diverse community group

Yarra Council recognises that the climate emergency presents an unprecedented challenge, one that means incremental change or a business-as-usual response to this crisis is inadequate.

Our Climate Emergency Plan sets out our response to the climate emergency, including our role in bringing the community together and building their capacity to be active citizens working together for change.

We’re not alone in recognising the scale of the climate emergency challenge. Over 1,600 (and rising!) governments across 30 countries representing more than 820 million people have now declared a climate emergency.

The enormity and complexity of the climate emergency challenge means that we all have a role to play, and that we must work together – the actions of individuals, organisations or sectors alone cannot resolve the crisis.

The time to act is now


We must build community leadership and skills for climate action, and support this momentum for change. There’s a role for each of us, no matter how big or small. Taking the first step is critical but sometimes it is difficult to know what to do.

There are many actions we can take as individuals and as part of our neighbourhoods, families, workplaces, friendship circles and community networks to bring about change.

Schools taking climate action

Students across the City of Yarra are coming together to talk about the climate emergency and take action.  Our students recognise the urgency and scale of the climate crisis and want to be part of growing climate action across our city.  They are keen to encourage other students to step up and take climate action now.


Climate Conversations: Chats in the Chair

Supporting hairdressers and barbers to talk to clients about climate change 

In partnership with Sustainable Salons, Climate for Change and the Australian Conservation Foundation, we will run a new program, Climate Conversations: Chats in the Chair.  This new program will provide free training to local hairdressers and barbers to help them have conversations and inspire their clients to take climate action.  

**Due to COVID-19 restrictions, and how difficult it is to get together face-to-face, we have postponed Climate Conversations: Chats in the Chair – our climate conversation training program for hairdressers and barbers. We hope to reschedule the program as soon as we can and thank those salons and salon workers who expressed interest in the program.**

Community Skills for Climate Action program

Community Skills for Climate Action was a program we delivered in partnership with Moreland and Darebin Councils.

Over 10 sessions, the program helped participants to:

  • Deepen their level of climate knowledge and action, wherever they were at.
  • Learn new skills so that their climate projects, campaigns and actions were impactful.
  • Connect with climate groups to extend reach and impact
  • Develop a network of people who are working together and supporting each other’s efforts to take climate action.

For many participants, the program inspired them and gave them the tools and connections they needed to create change. Some of the 75 participants ended up creating 22 local climate action projects including:

  • The Big Local Arts and Climate Expo which showcases local artists responding to the climate emergency.
  • The Green Bee which brings together local artists, environmentalists, climate campaigners and community groups to build meaningful connections, future collaborations, support networks, and friendships.
  • Climate action workshops supporting local communities to reduce carbon emissions and connect with broader local climate campaigns
  • Building climate resilience with community health organisations

If you would like to join the regular Yarra, Moreland and Darebin climate action network events, subscribe to Yarra Environment News.

Attend a Yarra Council climate event

We offer training, activities and events to build community skills for climate action and assist people to make low emission lifestyle choices. View our events.

Get up to speed with the climate science and impacts 

There are many sources of credible information on the science of the climate crisis and its impacts of on our natural environment and communities. These include the Climate Council, an independent, not-for-profit climate change communications organisation; the Bureau of Meteorology; and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Have a climate conversation 

Through conversation with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues you can discuss your concerns about the climate emergency. Talking to someone you trust (and who trusts you) enables you both to process complex and confronting information and share your feelings. It also gives you an opportunity to talk about potential responses and collective action.

Webinar: Climate conversations

This webinar featured speakers from Common CauseAustralian Conservation Foundation and Climate for Change about how to hold effective conversations about the climate crisis to motivate others to take action.

Download the webinar slide pack (555KB, PDF).

There are many organisations who either host climate conversations or provide training and information about how to have conversations, including Get UpAustralian Conservation Foundation and Climate for Change.

You might like to read (PDF) or watch Rebecca Huntley’s 2019 Melbourne Sustainability Society Oration ‘Renewing Democracy in a Time of Environmental Crisis’.

Ramp up your climate advocacy

Join a climate strike, write to or request to meet with Members of Parliament to demand stronger climate policy and action.

View a list of Victorian Members of Parliament and a list of Federal Members of Parliament.

Webinar: Using social media to push for strong climate action

In this webinar Environment Victoria's Communications Coordinator shared his top tips to help you get your message right (what to say and how to say it!) and show you how to use social media platforms and other digital opportunities to increase people's awareness of the climate emergency and motivate them to take strong action.

Download the webinar slide pack (6.19MB, PDF).

Webinar: Campaigning for climate action to drive the recovery

Join a local climate action group

There are many groups across Yarra (and Melbourne) taking action on the climate emergency, such as:

You can encourage your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to join too.

Get involved in local climate action and advocacy campaigns

There are many organisations leading climate and environmental campaigns, for example to reduce carbon emissions, strengthen environmental laws and protect forests and waterways.

Some of these organisations include:

Reduce your carbon emissions at home

There are lots of ways to your carbon including reducing your energy use, buying 100% renewable energy, embracing a plant-based diet and divesting your bank and superannuation funds from fossil fuels.

Many organisations offer advice about just how to do this including Sustainability Victoria, Renew and Market Forces.

Look after yourself! 

The planet needs us for the long haul!  Psychology for a Safe Climate provide information about managing climate anxiety and caring for ourselves so that we can carry on fighting for climate action. 

More information 

For more information about the climate emergency and useful resources, download our booklet ‘Climate Emergency: Taking action together in the City of Yarra.

You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter "Yarra Environment News"

If you would like to get in touch, please email [email protected]