Climate Change and the MidCoast
MidCoast Council recognises a state of climate emergency exists, with the elected Councillors declaring a climate emergency in October 2019.
In declaring a state of climate emergency, Council affirmed that urgent action is required by all levels of government to take clear steps to avert a climate crisis.
This declaration recognises our commitment to mitigating the impacts of climate change over a number of years.
It also recognises the responsibility of all government, including local councils, to reduce carbon emissions and help our communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.
We need to plan for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, especially the risk of inundation of low-lying areas, accelerated coastal erosion, the reduction in annual rainfall, stream flow and water supply.
To do this we are developing a risk-based Climate Change Policy and Action Plan, to both manage and reduce our greenhouse emissions, and adapt our practices to reduce our impact on the environment and our communities.
While mitigation and adaptation actions have been undertaken across the MidCoast for some time now, the action plan is an opportunity to bring all these measures together, and plan for future sustained actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Developing a climate change policy and an action plan is the first step, and we will engage with our community to ensure climate change risks and impacts are understood and managed collaboratively.
Along with a range of broader sustainability measures, in the MidCoast region there are many actions underway to increase our energy efficiency, use renewable energy and develop sustainable transport options, including:
- Undertaking energy audits and developing energy management plans for Council’s major facilities
- Installing over 200kW of solar panels on public buildings including the Forster and Taree administration centres, Great Lakes and Manning Aquatic Centres, Kolodong works depot, Tea Gardens and Bulahdelah waste management centres, the Manning Entertainment Centre, the Manning Regional Art Gallery and the Taree Airport
- Implementing of various energy efficiency measures such as lighting retrofits, replacing electric hot water systems with heat pumps, air conditioning upgrades and power factor correction
- Completing of carbon sequestration activities including wetland acquisition and restoration, and major revegetation projects at various sites including Bootawa Dam
- Undertaking an LED street lighting retrofit program with around 5,369 street lights retrofitted to date
- Participating in the Cities for Climate Protection, Sustainability Advantage & Sustainable Procurement Programs
- Preparing a Local Greenhouse Action Plan and setting emission reduction targets
- Preparing Climate Change Risk Assessments and Adaptation Plans for Council’s operations and services
- Monitoring Council’s energy and water consumption, carbon emissions and reductions
- Installing an Energy Management System at Council’s Taree Administration Centre and the Manning Aquatic and Leisure Centre
What we’re working on now
To coordinate our future actions, we are currently developing a Climate Change Policy and Strategy, from which we will produce a
Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Plan – to integrate actions in coastal management programs, floodplain risk management plans, and land use planning.
- Climate Change Mitigation Plan – to invest in renewable energy, efficiency measures and set emission reduction targets for all Council assets.
Actions in these plans will be implemented by developing partnerships with other government agencies and industry groups, and engaging with local communities.
- Our membership of the Cities Power Partnership allows us access to a significant source of knowledge and resources on climate change, and the support and learnings from other councils who are developing innovative solutions to tackling climate change.
We are also supporting a community plan to establish a Community Solar Farm.