Council takes action on climate change emergency
  • Thursday 24 March 2022
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Sunshine Coast Council has further progressed its response to the state of climate emergency recognised in November 2021, by providing progress updates on zero-net emission planning, community readiness and the Regional Climate Action Roadmap Project.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said it had become clear that the next 10 years was the decade for action globally, nationally and locally.

“Climate change and the impacts it can have on our environment, liveability, economy and community is a big part of our approach to being Australia’s most sustainable region,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Council has consistently taken a proactive, evidence-based approach to developing and implementing strong climate change policy that aligns with the best available science, and our Environment and Liveability Strategy (ELS) plays an important role in this.

“The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shows climate change is putting Australia at risk, with impacts worsening, future risks increasing, and wide-ranging adaptation needed.

“The recent significant storms and flooding that impacted the Sunshine Coast, and other regions, and the 2019/20 bushfires are confronting examples of the changing climate.

“Council’s climate change response needs to remain focused on our emissions reduction planning, climate risk management and proactively embedding climate change into all we do.

“We need to be adaptable to maximise our economic, environmental and community resilience.

“This isn’t solely a council issue. This is a Sunshine Coast community-wide issue, so we’ll continue to work with the community to ensure everyone is well prepared and playing their part. 

“To help council work towards being a zero-net emissions organisation by 2041, we have developed a comprehensive understanding of our emissions footprint by monitoring our greenhouse gas emissions over the last six years through our annual Organisational Sustainability Benchmarking Report.

“Our reporting has identified that waste, which is largely community-produced makes up 72 per cent of our organisational emissions footprint and is one of the biggest opportunities for reductions.

“One of the ways council plans to proactively tackle this aspect is through the staged implementation of organics separation - garden organics, then food organics.

“Council is also working to identify a suite of emissions-reducing opportunities across all operations and activities to further accelerate the great work already being done in the region through the implementation of the ELS.

“Expanding rooftop solar capacity, upgrading streetlights to energy efficient LEDs and transitioning council’s fleet to hybrid/electric vehicles are some of the opportunities being investigated.

“It’s also important to remember that how we respond to and manage climate risk is a critical component of council’s climate change response.

“That’s why we’ve partnered with Noosa Council to pilot Phase One of three of the Queensland Climate Resilient Council’s Climate Risk Management Framework.

“Part of this pilot includes developing a Regional Climate Action Roadmap to build understanding and awareness of how climate risks will affect our region.”

Division 10 Councillor David Law, who has advocated for more action on climate change, said council and the community needed to work in partnership as we responded to both the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change.

“Our climate change response is a shared responsibility and I’d like to thank the community for their positive response and willingness to be involved in implementing change,” Cr Law said.

“Across both zero-net emissions planning and climate risk management, council is committed to providing leadership and support to equip our community to reduce their own emissions and increase their adaptive capacity and resilience to a changing climate.

“Council’s climate change response will remain proactive so we can adapt to maximise our economic, environmental and community resilience and ensure our community is well prepared to play their part in the response.”

The progress updates on zero-net emission planning, community readiness and the Regional Climate Action Roadmap Project were considered at the March 2022 Ordinary Meeting of Council.

To learn more about council’s climate change actions visit: sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

Image: Council and the community working together will help us respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change. Rooftop solar is one of many ways to help reduce emissions.