Monday, January 24, 2022

Code Red for Humanity (2 November 2021)

Item No:         C1121(3) Item 5

Subject:         Notice of Motion: Code Red for Humanity       

Council Meeting at its meeting on 26 October 2021 resolved that the matter be deferred to the meeting to be held on 02 November 2021.   

From:             Councillor Marghanita Da Cruz  

 

 

Motion:

 

THAT Council:

 

1.    Note the United Nations (UN) has issued a code Red for Humanity advising that only with immediate, deep and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including methane gas, is it possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius and avoid the consequences of greater global warming including intense and frequent hot extremes, heatwaves, and heavy precipitation and, in some regions, agricultural and ecological droughts;

 

2.    Note that if other countries were to adopt emissions targets similar to our own, it is very likely that global temperatures would increase by at least 2 degrees, and possibly by as much as 3 degrees;

 

3.    Write to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Energy and Emission Reductions asking the Government commit to a 2030 target for at least a 75% reduction in emissions;

 

4.    Call on our local Federal Members for Grayndler, Barton, Reid and Sydney to take the Community Protection Pledge;

 

5.    Note the “NSW Audit Report: Managing climate risks to assets and services” and call on the Premier, the Treasurer and Minister of Planning to urgently adopt the recommendations; and

 

6.    While preparing Council’s next Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program, Short and Long Term Financial Plans, Planning Instruments consideration will be given to the Climate Risk Ready NSW Guide and Course and the improvement of council’s overall and interim net zero targets, in line with the “Race to Zero Starting Line” criteria, and other initiatives for keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.

 

 

 Background

 Here in the Inner West we are already feeling the effects of Global Warming, with inundation of the Marrickville Golf Course and the need to raise the changerooms at the Dawn Fraser Baths. Our storm water and sewerage systems will fail more often due to heavier rainfall and higher sea levels. Our air quality was severely impacted by the bushfires in early 2019 and our tree canopy and vegetation will suffer in prolonged periods drought. Our food supply is also at risk.

Climate Emergency

On 14 May 2019 Inner West Council unanimously declared a Climate Emergency including Council’s key performance indicators and policies by May 2020 - C0519(1) Item 7 Notice of Motion: Declaration of Climate Emergency, Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting held on 14 May 2019, https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/05/C_14052019_MIN_3696_WEB.htm

“Code Red for Humanity” - Secretary-General, UN

“We must act decisively now to keep 1.5°C alive. We are already at 1.2°C and rising. Warming has accelerated in recent decades. Every fraction of a degree counts. Greenhouse- gas concentrations are at record levels. Extreme weather and climate disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. That is why this year’s United Nations climate conference in Glasgow is so important.” - Secretary-General Calls Latest IPCC Climate Report ‘Code Red for Humanity’, Stressing ‘Irrefutable’ Evidence of Human Influence https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sgsm20847.doc.htm (viewed 17 September 2021)

The IPCC’s ‘code red’: On 9 August 2021, the IPCC released its latest report, which is a comprehensive assessment of the physical science of climate change. It is the most important climate science update for almost a decade. 

The report shows that terrible and irreversible changes to our planet can be avoided only with immediate, deep and sustained emissions reductions. The report clearly states that the climate is changing at a rate unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years, and that the change is being driven in large part by the burning of fossil fuels.

The report makes clear that every tonne of greenhouse gas emitted matters: ‘With every additional increment of global warming, changes in extremes continue to become larger. For example, every additional 0.5 of global warming causes clearly discernible increases in the intensity and  of global warming causes clearly discernible increases in the intensity and frequency of hot extremes, including heatwaves, and heavy precipitation, as well as agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions.’

Source: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, IPCC, August 2021 https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/

Statement by the Secretary-General on the report by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (17 September 2021 )

Today’s report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on the Nationally Determined Contributions of all Parties to the Paris Agreement shows that the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7-degrees of heating... https://www.un.org/sg/en/node/259106 (viewed 18 Sep 2021)

Community Protection Pledge: Taking Action on Extreme Weather - Emergency Leaders for Climate Action 

Australians are experiencing disaster after disaster – from bushfires to deadly heatwaves to more intense rainfall and greater risk of floods. The impacts are being felt all over Australia, with some communities facing a cascade of disasters.

The Community Protection Pledge is a set of 10 commitments that every Federal MP can sign to commit to protecting Australians now, and into the future. 

Community Protection Pledge:Taking Action on Extreme Weather, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA), https://emergencyleadersforclimateaction.org.au/community-protection-pledge/ (viewed 17 September 2021)

NSW Auditor: Managing climate risks to assets and services (7 Sep ‘21)

DPIE and NSW Treasury’s support to agencies to manage climate risks to their assets and services has been insufficient. 

In 2021, key agencies with critical assets and services have not conducted climate risk assessments, and most lack adaptation plans.

DPIE has not delivered on the NSW Government commitment to develop a state-wide climate change adaptation action plan. This was to be complete in 2017. 

There is also no adaptation strategy for the state. These have been released in all other Australian jurisdictions. The NSW Government’s draft strategic plan for its Climate Change Fund was also never finalised.

DPIE’s approach to developing climate projections is robust, but it hasn’t effectively educated agencies in how to use this information to assess climate risk. 

NSW Treasury did not consistently apply dedicated resourcing to support agencies' climate risk management until late 2019.

In March 2021, DPIE and NSW Treasury released the Climate Risk Ready NSW Guide and Course. These are designed to improve support to agencies.

What we recommended

DPIE and NSW Treasury should, in partnership:

•   enhance the coordination of climate risk management across agencies

•   implement climate risk management across their clusters.

DPIE should:

•   update information and strengthen education to agencies, and monitor progress

•   review relevant land-use planning, development and building guidance

•   deliver a climate change adaptation action plan for the state.

NSW Treasury should:

•   strengthen climate risk-related guidance to agencies

•   coordinate guidance on resilience in infrastructure planning

•   review how climate risks have been assured in agencies’ asset management plans.

Source viewed 17 Sep 2021, https://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/our-work/reports/managing-climate- risks-to-assets-and-services

Race To Zero

Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

It mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives, representing 733 cities, 31 regions, 3,067 businesses, 173 of the biggest investors, and 622 Higher Education Institutions. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Collectively these actors now cover nearly 25% global CO2 emissions and over 50% GDP.

The objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of COP26, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. This will send governments a resounding signal that business, cities, regions and investors are united in meeting the Paris goals and creating a more inclusive and resilient economy.

More about Race To Zero Campaign at https://unfccc.int/climate-action/race-to-zero-campaign

 

Officer’s Comments:

 Comment from Urban Sustainability Manager:

Staff have no comment for points 1-5.

 Comment for point 6 - In December 2019 Council adopted the Inner West Climate and Renewables Strategy which targets a 75% reduction in community emissions by 2036 and zero emissions before 2050. The community target is based on the Inner West Pathway to Zero Emissions (2019) report prepared by Kinesis. This report quantifies and describes the Inner West community carbon footprint, models future scenarios, considers Council’s areas of influence, and makes recommendations for key actions that support community emissions reduction. Refer https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/live/environment-and-sustainability/at-council/response-to-climate-change/climate-and-renewables-strategy. The recommended targets and key actions were incorporated into the adopted Climate and Renewables Strategy.


Minutes 2 November 2021

C1121(3) Item 5       Notice of Motion: Code Red for Humanity

Motion: (Da Cruz/Hesse)

THAT Council:

1.    Note the United Nations (UN) has issued a code Red for Humanity advising that only with immediate, deep and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including methane gas, is it possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius and avoid the consequences of greater global warming including intense and frequent hot extremes, heatwaves, and heavy precipitation and, in some regions, agricultural and ecological droughts;

 

2.    Note that if other countries were to adopt emissions targets similar to our own, it is very likely that global temperatures would increase by at least 2 degrees, and possibly by as much as 3 degrees;


3.    Write to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Energy and Emission Reductions asking the Government commit to a 2030 target for at least a 75% reduction in emissions;


4.    Call on our local Federal Members for Grayndler, Barton, Reid and Sydney to take the Community Protection Pledge;


5.    Note the “NSW Audit Report: Managing climate risks to assets and services” and call on the Premier, the Treasurer and Minister of Planning to urgently adopt the recommendations; and


6.    While preparing Council’s next Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program, Short and Long Term Financial Plans, Planning Instruments consideration will be given to the Climate Risk Ready NSW Guide and Course and the improvement of council’s overall and interim net zero targets, in line with the “Race to Zero Starting Line” criteria, and other initiatives for keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Motion Carried

For Motion:         Crs Da Cruz, Drury, Hesse, Iskandar, Kiat, Lockie, Macri, McKenna OAM, Porteous, Raciti, Stamolis and Steer

Against Motion: Nil

Absent: Cr Passas

 Source: Minutes of Extraordinary Council Meeting held remotely and livestreamed on Council’s website on 2 November 2021 https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2021/11/C_02112021_MIN_3926_EXTRA_WEB.htm

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