Evidence of a changing climate is appearing everywhere

Cr Lisa Intemann looks at how the council can work to deal with climate change.
Cr Lisa Intemann looks at how the council can work to deal with climate change.

The evidence of a changing climate is appearing everywhere.

Weather extremes and disasters seem to be multiplying globally, with well documented failing crops, burning rainforests, melting ice caps, disrupted ocean acidity and currents, and growing risks to health and safety.

Whatever the cause of these changes, it is hardly surprising that governments, councils and businesses are increasingly under pressure to get serious about action on climate change.

Our council is already under pressure to consider a three-pronged approach - declare a climate emergency; adopt a medium-term goal for council's use of renewables, and adopt a longer term goal for community-wide reduction in emissions.

Amidst these calls for new action it is also reassuring that our council is often recognised as fairly progressive in its approach already, having previously adopted several important aspects of any policy for climate action.

Specifically, council already has a long term energy policy and has historically adopted a cautious approach to flood risk by keeping development away from the ocean and the worst impacts from sea level rise, flood or storm.

There still remains a lot that council could do, not only to reduce polluting emissions, but also to mitigate against the worst effects of climate change should it worsen.

That could include direct local actions such as providing more shade, emphasising water security and disaster readiness.

It could importantly include other broad scale preventative actions, such as more efficient education, recycling and waste management.

It should also respect the needs of business by aiming for future certainty regarding council's approach to the problem.

What inspires me about the whole climate change question is that many of the necessary actions are just common sense - like pollution reduction, more efficient energy systems, less waste and more local food production - which would benefit us to adopt anyway, even if there was no climate crisis.

Cr Intemann's stories from a civic heart are her opinions and not necessarily council's.

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