Australian news, and some related international items

Noosa the first Queensland council to declare a climate emergency – Mayor explains why

Why this south-east Queensland council declared a ‘climate emergency’, By Tony Wellington, July 27, 2019

Frustrated by stagnant policy at the federal level, Australian communities are looking elsewhere for responses to climate change.

Businesses, communities and, increasingly, local governments are stepping up to the plate.

Noosa council declared a climate emergency to send a strong message, according to the mayor.

As the closest tier of government to the people, it’s our responsibility to listen to the concerns of residents, and they are demanding a healthy and resilient future for their children and grandchildren.

The concerns of our communities are not being heard by the national decision-makers. Local governments have no choice but to act as climate advocates for their communities and thus take matters into their own hands.

That’s why we in Noosa shire have set ourselves a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2026 – and our community has jumped on board.

Our modelling shows that, if action is not taken to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, a much larger proportion of our residential and commercial properties will be within the storm tide inundation zone in the year 2100.

In other words, with a projected sea-level rise of 0.8 metres and intensifying weather events, many properties could be flooded in a significant storm or else subject to coastal erosion. We need to plan for this now, not wait until it’s too late.

Noosa recently became the first Queensland council to declare a climate emergency, joining 847 other government jurisdictions across the world who have already done so. We want to send a strong message to higher levels of government that this is the most serious issue facing humankind.

Noosa council is rolling out solar panels and battery storage, adopting a wide range of energy efficiency measures and tackling methane emissions from our landfill. And we are working with our community to reduce emissions at the business and household level. Of course, there is much more to be done. But we’re not alone.

We’re just one of many councils across the country who are rising to the challenge of climate change. From the Huon Valley in Tasmania to Port Douglas in northern Queensland, councils are working together through alliances such as the Cities Power Partnership.

We need to learn from each other and share our knowledge because we’re all in this together. Every local government wants to see sustainable, healthy communities that thrive in the future. And, like it or not, the future is renewable energy. Tony Wellington is the Mayor of Noosa Shire Council 

July 29, 2019 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland, solar

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