Environmental organisation Greenpeace has applauded Wollongong City Council's decision to declare a climate emergency, calling it "huge stuff".
Councillor Ann Martin moved the motion, which was debated for more than an hour at the council meeting on Monday evening, calling on the council to recognise the community is in a state of climate emergency.
The end result was a vote in favour to support the motion, and also called for a report to look at the best ways Wollongong can combat climate change.
Councillor Leigh Colacino opposed the motion, arguing council was already doing a significant amount in the space.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery offered his support over an issue he believed needed action.
"We can't change the world but we can do our bit," he told the Mercury.
Wollongong is the 32nd Australian council to declare climate emergency, a move which is more to "stand in solidarity", Cr Bradbery said.
He said it also identifies with "the concerns of people in the community".
"[The declaration] was to identity that there is a need for action, but it gave us a platform to highlight basically what we're achieving already," he said.
"We need to work with other agencies and groups in the city and to do our bit ameliorating global gas emissions."
Cr Bradbery said council would continue to improve and look at ways in which they could improve how the city affects climate change.
Environmentalist Susie Crick has also applauded the move, stating "one pebble dropped in the water creates many ripples".
The Australian councils are part of around 800 across the globe to have declared climate emergencies, encompassing more than 140 million people worldwide.