MidCoast Council declares climate emergency

Published on 30 October 2019


MidCoast Council has declared a climate emergency and is calling on other levels of government to take clear steps to avert a climate crisis.

The declaration recognises Council’s commitment to mitigating the impacts of climate change over a number of years.

“We join with 1,143 world-wide jurisdictions to declare a climate emergency, and we are calling on the NSW and Federal Governments to work in a bipartisan manner to make clear, effective and unambiguous steps to avert a climate crisis in NSW and Australia,” Mayor David West said.

Council has recognised the imperative 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 average annual rainfall, stream flow and water supply. As a result Council is developing a risk-based Climate Change Policy and Action Plan.

The policy and action plan will have a dual approach – to mitigate by managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Council’s operations and activities; and to adapt Council practices and activities to reduce the impact on public and private infrastructure, water supply, natural systems and communities.

There are many actions Council has already undertaken to mitigate climate change, including the monitoring of water and energy consumption and carbon emissions, energy audits and management plans for major facilities, solar panels on public buildings, street lighting retrofits, carbon sequestration (revegetation projects) and the development of numerous strategies that address climate change.

“Our commitment to developing a Climate Change Policy, and our declaration of a climate emergency formalises our response to climate change and sends a clear message to our community that we take this issue extremely seriously,” Cr West said.

“We will be involving the community as we move forward in the development of our action plan and strategy as ultimately the decisions to be made are difficult, complex and have financial implications both short and long term.”