Thursday, 16 May 2019

At least 13 local government authorities around Australia have formally recognised a climate emergency

Clarence Valley Council, media release, 8 May 2019:

Mayor: Jim Simmons LOCKED BAG 23 GRAFTON NSW 2460
General Manager: Ashley Lindsay Telephone: (02) 6643 0200


Council recognises a climate emergency

ADDRESSING climate change has become a core issue in the Clarence Valley following a council decision to recognise there is a climate emergency that requires urgent actions by all levels of government and the community.

Council has joined a number of local councils that have recognised the urgency needed to implement actions to mitigate and adapt to projected climate change impacts.

Australia’s climate has warmed by 1°C since 1910 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) September 2018 report on global warming highlights the serious risks of not containing global warming to 1.5°C or below. Current projections are tracking for more than 3°C of global warming by 2100.

To stay below 1.5°C the IPCC concludes the world must embark on a World War II level of effort to transition away from fossil fuels and start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at large scale.

Council has previously decided to fast track a strategy of cutting Council emissions by 40% and increase the use of renewables to 50% before 2030.

At its last meeting, council adopted a five-point resolution aimed at addressing climate change urgently, including making “climate change” a sub heading in all council reports and continuing to carry out actions in an earlier “100% Renewables” strategy.

Waste and sustainability coordinator, Ken Wilson, said there were cost savings for council from its energy efficiency gains and onsite solar, with an average payback period of 6.5 years.
He said council’s recognition of a climate emergency provided an opportunity to lobby other levels of government on the urgency of cutting emissions.

“Council’s work to date and the ambitious strategy for increasing renewable energy and reducing emissions is doing well, however the community Climate Change Advisory Committee considers council should engage our local community and other levels of government to communicate there is a climate emergency and we all need to do more,” he said.

At least another 12 local government authorities around Australia have formally recognised a climate emergency, including Upper Hunter Shire Council, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Bellingen councils in NSW. The British parliament has also just resolved to declare a national climate emergency.

* NSW Government projections about the impact of climate change on the North Coast are available here 

Release ends.

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