Tasmania's largest council has become the first in the state to unanimously declare a climate emergency.
On Thursday, the City of Launceston council vowed to help the earth's future.
Councillor Nick Daking was congratulated for putting forward the motion by all of his colleagues.
"For years I myself did not pay attention to climate change," he said. "I couldn't see the climate change therefore it didn't exist, it wasn't affecting my life so what was there to worry about."
He said that abruptly changed as he was sitting on the back stairs of his house which was destroyed in the 2016 wettest winter in 100 years with his son and he asked about climate change.
Cr Daking, taking inspiration from his son, said future generations deserved to grow up in a healthy climate.
"We are the largest council in the state and a truly independent strong council that does not lean towards any political party like other councils do," he said.
"This is why our climate motion will send a strong message to the state and federal governments, make it impossible for them to ignore, have them stop playing politics with our climate and start becoming part of the solution."
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The council will now acknowledge the urgency created by climate change and immediately conduct an audit of all council's operations to get baseline greenhouse gas emission levels, and complete its Sustainability Strategy by the end of 2019, and implement it by 2020.
The strategy includes an action plan to achieve 100 per cent neutrality of carbon emissions by 2025, a renewable energy action plan to move towards 100 per cent renewables as an energy source by 2025, and a plan to work with the community, businesses and not-for-profit sectors to reduce community emissions and move towards renewables.
Finally, the council will write to all levels of government expressing its views on the climate emergency.
While some councillors raised their concerns with using the word emergency, they all spoke in support of the motion.
Applause from the public gallery filled the chamber when the motion passed.
City of Hobart and Kingborough councils are the only other councils to declare an emergency. Break O'Day Council has debated the topic twice.
Six people spoke about the climate emergency motion at the meeting. Launceston resident Zoe Althuizen said declaring a climate emergency would be the first step to serving the future, and hoped the declaration of emergency would gain enough traction to make governments listen.
David Hamilton, an atmospheric physicist, said scientists were starting to look at climate change when he was studying in 1974, with emissions now increasing three times faster.
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"Why 'emergency'?", he said. "Because speed matters. And all the years of not having a climate emergency have failed."
Resident Andrew Pitt said those that argue local government shouldn't play a role in addressing climate change, are also the ones that argue the state and federal government don't need to take action.
"Local government has to take the lead," he said.
All councillors spoke to the motion, with councillor Andrea Dawkins congratulating Cr Daking, as a business leader, for bringing the motion forward.
Councillor Karina Stojansek said there had been a lack of leadership from other levels of government despite being on the midst of a climate emergency.
Councillor Rob Soward said one council declaring an emergency would not fix the issue, but with individuals working together to do something, it would help make a whole.
Before the start of the council meeting, a silent vigil was held by climate change group Extinction Rebellion, who also held an event in Hobart.
The group said it was holding a vigil for the loss of human life and threats to civil society. They welcomed the council's decision.
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