Climate cause for concern for councils


Eurobodalla Council has issued a media release saying they have welcomed a new report from the Climate Council and Cities Power Partnership calling for more support and funding to help local government cope with the costs of climate change.

The release says : "The Neighbourhood issue: Climate costs and risks to councils report found mounting damage to council assets, rising insurance premiums and increasing liability risk from extreme weather - all resulting in compounding costs for councils.

"Pleasingly, Eurobodalla Council is ahead of the game when it comes to the report’s eight recommendations for local governments. These centre on councils having “net zero” and emissions reduction targets, supporting the broader community to cut emissions and assessing climate change risk and implementing plans to adapt, to name a few.

Eurobodalla Council’s environmental services manager Deb Lenson says that Council have focused on reducing emissions in its operations for more than a decade, with great success.

“We achieved one of our major goals this year when we signed on to receive the supply of 80 per cent of Council’s total electricity load for our larger energy use sites to renewable energy,” Ms Lenson said.

“The development of our Climate Resilience Plan 2022 -2032 – which is currently underway - will further place Council and the region at the forefront of managing changing climate impacts.”

"The Climate Resilience Plan will set out how the wider community can adapt to the changing climate and reduce carbon emissions. Its actions will centre on things like energy, transport, water supply, housing, waste, agriculture and largely responds to a risk assessment undertaken by Council’s insurer in 2020 that looked at climate change impacts.

However, Ms Lenson says she recognises there is always more to be done.

“According to the report, the risk and demand on local government will only increase as the impacts from extreme weather become more intense and more frequent,” she said.

“The change in climate has the potential to affect almost every facet of our community – from tourism, to infrastructure, our health, the local economy and beyond.

“We need to move forward together in building our resilience as a community – and that’s what our new Climate Resilience Plan aims to achieve.”

The Neighbourhood issue: Climate costs and risks to councils report is available on the Climate Council’s website. On August 13th 2019 Eurobodalla councillors resolved that local government requires focussed and strategic actions to address the changing climate, but voted not to declare a climate emergency.

Cr Pat McGinlay brought a Notice of Motion to declare a climate emergency to Council’s 13 August meeting: THAT Council acknowledges and consequently declares that we are living in a time of climate emergency that requires focussed and strategic actions at the local government level, for the benefit of our whole community, in both the immediate and longer term.

THAT Council acknowledges and consequently recognises that we are living at a critical time in relation to climate change that requires focussed and strategic actions at the local government level, for the benefit of our whole community, in both the immediate and longer term. THAT Council requires that all future or revised existing plans, strategies and substantive initiatives related to any and all Council business and responsibilities, include and provide the following: Evidence of a consideration and an initial assessment of the potential impact on climate change in the broad sense and particularly environmental, economic and social impacts on our Shire and its community. This is to ensure there are no gaps in our knowledge of activities that could have climate change implications.

The Motions were all lost.



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