Council declares climate emergency

Published on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 at 9:49:28 AM

Mayor Shane Van Styn and Councillor Natasha Colliver

Picture Caption: Mayor Shane Van Styn and Councillor Natasha Colliver.

A climate emergency has been declared by Councillors after they supported a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and a strong leadership approach on the matter, at last night’s Council Meeting.

The item which was put forward by Councillor Natasha Colliver has committed the City of Greater Geraldton to develop a Corporate Energy Plan that aims to transition City operations towards a net zero carbon position by 2030. 

During last night’s lengthy discussions, Councillor Colliver said it was time for the City to stand up and take responsibility. 

“I think it’s important that we as a Council back the science and accept our responsibility as Councillors and leaders in the community,” she said.

“The debate on climate change is well and truly over – it is occurring, it is here.

“We can’t stick our head in the sand, we can no longer pretend, it’s time to make a change.”

Mayor Shane Van Styn, along with several Councillors, showed their support for the motion speaking in favour of the Strategy and the addition of a new point to declare the climate emergency.

“As a local government, our core role is advocacy – it’s what we do,” Mayor Van Styn said.

Our community expects us to represent their views and interests at all times.

“If we do happen to get it wrong, and the single worst outcome is that the skies are bluer and the air is cleaner, that’s a pretty good outcome to me.”

During the City’s recent ‘Community Voice’ project – a group of citizen jurors representing various demographics voiced their concern regarding climate change and their passion for the City to take a strong leadership role on the matter.

The City has taken a number of significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint and have implemented a Climate Change Policy.

In accordance with the current Policy, actions already undertaken include installation of solar panels on various city facilities, the reduction of the City’s vehicle fleet, and continued implementation of the City’s Million Trees program, among other outcomes.

The City will now move forward to update the Climate Adaptation Plan to detail actions required to move City operations towards a net zero carbon position by 2030. 

The plan will include measuring and reporting on carbon emissions, the establishment of a Corporate Energy Plan and a two yearly review on progress. 

The full Council item can be viewed on the City’s website.

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