Climate emergency or doomsday waffle ?
COFFS Harbour City Council will consider declaring a climate emergency.
After one of the biggest School Climate Strikes in Coffs Harbour's history Cr Sally Townley will raise a motion to be considered at next week's council meeting.
It comes as the controversy grows surrounding a local school principal's response to the strike and Greta Thunberg's impassioned speech at the UN Climate Summit.
On the front page of the Coffs Harbour Christian Community School newsletter Principal Rodney Lynn branded Greta a little girl with mental problems and urged students not to listen to 'doomsday waffle'.
"My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters," he said in the September 26 newsletter.
"Do not be afraid. Your world's future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets.
"God's promises have never failed yet."
He said the only catastrophic climate change was the flood referred to in the Bible that covered the earth in the days of Noah.
But at the climate strike last week, in front of a crowd of almost 1,500 people, Toormina High School student Ellena Cheers-Flavell called on Coffs Harbour City Council to take the action.
More than 55 other councils across Australia, including neighbouring Bellingen and Clarence Valley Councils, have already declared climate emergencies.
"Council should acknowledge a state of emergency and act accordingly by prioritising existing and new pathways to reduce our contribution to global warming," Dr Townley said.
Coffs Harbour City Council has already adopted a Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan (REEP) but if the state of emergency is declared this plan will be accelerated.
Bellingen Shire Council declared a climate emergency in March this year and as part of the declaration they have committed to holding a Climate Emergency workshop to examine how their community strategic plan, works program and planning documents can address the emergency.
Bellingen council will also call on State and Federal Governments to declare a climate emergency and back this up with legislated programs to drive emergency action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the lower of the Paris Agreements at 1.5 per cent.