Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Climate Emergency in the Inner West

Last night the Inner West Council voted Unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency and reflect this in KPIs for the CEO and the Budget.

In introducing the motion, I asked my fellow councillors to  support the motion before them to:
  1. Publicly acknowledges that we are in a state of climate emergency and to reflect the emergency in
  2. the CEOs performance agreement which is due to be signed shortly and
  3. our Council’s key performance indicators and policies by May 2020.
I thanked Mr Pierce from the ExtinctionRebellion NSW for asking me to bring this motion to council and coming to speak. I also acknowledged Mr Chase from Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle and Ms Reffell from Stop Adani (who came to speak representing local groups) for their persistent advocacy and activism on this issue.

Listen to the speakers at

And then I continued...

My motion is based on one passed by Randwick Council last month. But I would also like to acknowlege the input from the CEO to include points 2 and 3 in the motion.
Haberfield Resident and former Ashfield Mayor Vince Sicari sent a message of support, commending Council on taking a stand before it is too late for the Barrier Reef, Our food bowl, the Murray-Darling basin and the Island Nations of the Pacific. He points out that parts of our country are already experiencing unprecedented droughts and that our very existence is at stake.
By declaring an emergency, we will not be alone, we will be joining 17 other councils in Australia and 520 world wide, as well as Scotland, Wales, the UK and Ireland.
In declaring an emergency we commit to do more than business-as-usual and reform-as-usual. We willl need temporary protection and adaptation measures while prevention and restorative measures are put in place and achieve their full effect.
Taking the lead on Climate Change is not new to our Community.
In 2005, I helped steer a successfulProject, sponsored by Leichhardt Council and funded by the HowardGovernment, which replaced incandescent light bulbs in local homes with more energy efficient longer lasting Fluroescent bulbs.
Since then Council and our community have installed Solar Panels and LED lighting. We have just about divested from fossil fuels. However, we are yet to tackle transport seriously, or focus on the employment and business opportunities of a low carbon economy.
Inaction will have terrible environmental and economic consequences we must declare a climate emergency now.

An amendment was moved to include the items of actions from an October 2017 Resolution of Council on Renewables in the CEO's KPIs.

Listen to the Debate and Vote on the Motion at

The next task is to establish the KPIs

Emissions Reporting

Last year, the NSW Government released the state of the Environment reporting on 2016 data showing a decrease in emissions. The Federal Department of Energy and Resources has provided more timely data as it is required to under its International Obligations.

"In the year to September 2018, transport accounted for 18.9 per cent of Australia’s national inventory. Emissions from transport over the year to September 2018 increased by 2.0 per cent when compared with
the previous year." - Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: September 2018

These emissions are created on our local roads, on the arterial roads which pass through our LGA, the aircraft which fly overhead and from the ships in Whitebay.

Meanwhile the use of public transport is highest in Sydney. Our residents walk for recreation and transport. Our pre-motor vehicle suburbs have enjoyed spectacular growth as the social benefits of these suburbs are recognised.

Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: September 2018

1 comment:

  1. When we asked Reid Pierce how he managed to get the Inner West Council to declare a climate emergency he answered, ‘I just asked them’. This is a conversation of hope, action, the importance of language and using momentum to enact change. ...


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