Step up your climate action and advocacy

Climate change protest  

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.

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 are offering a new program, Climate Conversations: Chats in the Chair.  This new program provides free training to local hairdressers and barbers to help them have conversations and inspire their clients to take climate action.  

We know that our planet is too hot. Scientists have been saying this for decades and we can see it for ourselves. Bushfires are bigger, more intense and dangerous, hot days are more extreme and more common, and droughts and floods are devastating. We also know that people are more likely to take action on climate change and other issues when information and inspiration to act comes from people they know and trust. So who better to have a conversation about climate change, its impacts and the need for all of us to take action, than our local hairdressers and barbers? 

Climate Conversations: Chats in the Chair includes two training and two coaching sessions, and will be hosted in a local hairdressing salon (venue details to come).

  • Training sessions: Tuesday 22 June and Tuesday 29 June, 7.30am-8.45am (including delicious breakfast)
  • Coaching sessions: Tuesday 13 July and Tuesday 27 July, 7.30am-8.45am (yep, tasty breakfast again!)

All participating hairdressers go into the draw to win a $100 voucher from STREAT Café – a social enterprise addressing youth disadvantage and homelessness. If you’re a local hairdresser or barber, and you think action on climate change is important, then this is the program for you! 

Registrations are now open. Find out more and register here.

New Community Skills for Climate Action program

Do you want to work with others in your area to take action on climate change? Are you keen to reach as many different people and groups as possible, and together have the most impact?  This program is for you! 

Yarra Council, in partnership with Darebin and Moreland Councils, are offering a new program to support people across our cities to work together to take effective action on climate change. We believe that climate action is for everyone and comes in many forms - campaigns, advocacy, community projects, conversations and more!

The nine-week program will run on Thursday evenings between May and September (excluding school holidays).

Applications for the 2021 program are now open. Find out more and apply by Sunday 18 April 2021.

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

Listen to the audio from our webinar recording to hear from 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 will share 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).

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.

If you would like to get in touch, please email