Noosa Council is the first Queensland local government to declare a climate emergency.
“This declaration sends a strong message to all levels of government that the time to take urgent action on climate change is right now,” Mayor Tony Wellington said.
Council endorsed the climate declaration at today’s General Committee Meeting, recommending the position to Thursday’s Ordinary Meeting where it is expected to be ratified.
“In making this declaration, Noosa Council joins other local governments in NSW, Victoria, SA and WA as well as the ACT government who have already declared a climate emergency. In fact, 740 jurisdictions around the globe have made the declaration, including the national governments of the UK, Canada, Portugal and Ireland plus cities like Paris and New York.
“Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Government’s own National Greenhouse Inventory reveals that we are not on track to meet our Paris Agreement targets. Indeed, overall emissions are trending up, not down,” the Mayor said.
Across the globe, average land and sea temperatures continue to rise, with the last five years being the hottest on record. The most recent IPCC Report noted that humankind has just 12 years to take action to keep warming to less than 1.5 degrees and avoid more serious global catastrophes.
“Left unchecked, climate change has the potential for major consequences, particularly more severe weather events. And Noosa is not immune. As a coastal community we are particularly vulnerable to impacts of a changing climate.
“Our Coastal Hazard Adaptation Plan will set out how Council prepares for, and responds to, increased severe weather events, storm surges, sea level rise and coastal erosion.
“At the local level, Council has an ambitious target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2026. We will continue efforts to reduce emissions by implementing solar PV, identifying energy efficiencies and by making changes to our landfill site and our operations.
“We will also continue to work collaboratively with our community to achieve emission reduction goals across the shire,” the Mayor said.
“We all need to take responsibility, and wealthy nations especially need to lead by example. Australia might only contribute 1.6% of total global emissions, but we are home to just 0.33% of the world’s population. On a per capita basis then, that puts Australia near the top of the list of global emitters, higher than the USA or China. We are second only to a few Arab oil states when it comes to per capita greenhouse gas emissions.
“The science is clear and the weight of expert evidence is undeniable,” the Mayor said. “This is arguably the most pressing issue facing the planet today. Noosa Council will not duck for cover when faced with difficult tasks. We proudly join other governments across the planet in declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and swift action to minimise catastrophic global repercussions.”
Noosa Council will be the 27th Australian local government to declare a climate emergency.
Recent polls indicate climate change is among the top concerns of Australian citizens.