With much discussion around the upcoming Federal election and an identified focus on the environment questions are being asked what more can be done at a Local Government level to pass on the wishes of communities to federal candidates and the next Federal Government. One example of local government leadership is Byron Shire Council who have declared a State of Climate Emergency in response to the release of the results of continuing poor emissions figures and the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Byron Shire Council has begun urging other Northern Rivers councils to add their voices to the chorus calling for action on climate change. There is no reason why Eurobodalla can't add its voice as well.
In a media release Byron's Councillor Cate Coorey said that the fact the Federal Government’s latest emissions data showed the nation’s carbon emissions are increasing is a major cause for concern.
“All the latest science is telling us we have a very short window to act before irreversible and catastrophic impacts from global warming start to take effect.
“In a shire like Byron that will mean sea level rise and a likely increase in floods, droughts, fires and extreme weather events such as damaging storms,” Cr Coorey said.
“Council has declared that we are in a state of climate emergency and that we need action by all levels of government,” she said.
‘”We may not be able to to have a direct impact on political decisions at the State and Federal level but we can show some leadership locally and start taking action.
"As a mother of two teenagers I am fearful of the kind of damaged planet that this generation is leaving for them and their children.
“Council has decided to convene a community-led Climate Emergency Guidance Group that will develop a shire-wide Climate Emergency Plan to provide a framework for how we reduce climate impacts.
“Our next step is to gather together the amazing people in this Shire who have the skills to help make this happen.
“ Byron needs to take action to build resilience and minimise the impacts of global warming and our community wants to be part of that action.
“Councils in Victoria, including Darebin, Moreland, Port Melbourne and Yarra are already doing this sort of work and others are moving to do the same around the country.
“Byron Shire Council has already taken great steps to reduce emissions and change the way we do business. This decision will bring in members of our community to work with us on a plan for action with pressing timeframes,” Cr Coorey said.
“Developing the plan is the first step, then we have to get cracking on doing what is in the plan,” she said.
Council has already written to the NSW and Federal Governments advising them of what Byron Shire Council is doing and urging them to acknowledge a climate emergency and to act with urgency to address the crisis.
“Reversing climate change may seem like an insurmountable problem but if every council, every community, every individual does their bit then at least we can say we have done something,” she said.
What does Eurobodalla have in place?
Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan 2017 - 2021
The Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan sets out Council's response to climate change. It aims to reduce the total Council energy emissions by 80% from the 2005/06 baseline by 2030 and source 100% of Council’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
The plan details the actions that we will take to achieve the emissions reduction target, and how we will support the community to respond to climate change.
You can read all about the Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan: