A climate emergency has been declared in South Yorkshire following floods earlier this month.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, discussed the issue at a meeting with council leaders from Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.
Extinction Rebellion said urgent action was clearly needed, but politicians seemed reluctant to act.
Protestors with an inflatable boat, mops and buckets lobbied the meeting.
Mr Jarvis expressed “sincere condolences” for the communities along the River Don which were flooded earlier this month.
“Communities in South Yorkshire have been devastated by the recent floods, and the recovery effort will require sustained investment over the longer term,” he said.
“The stark reality is that extreme weather occurrences will only become more regular.
“Our current economic model is destroying our planet. That’s why, today, the Sheffield City Region declared a climate and environmental emergency.”
Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated from their homes, with Fishlake and Bentley near Doncaster worst hit. Many have still not been able to return home.
Lincolnshire, the East Midlands and now further south have also been flooded.