Compliance an issue for climate change policy

It is expected that the Central Coast Council’s Climate Change Policy will soon be publicly exhibited.
Agenda item 5.4 for the July 9 Council meeting, “response to Mayoral Minute Climate Change” reported that the policy’s direction was to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, complying with the NSW Government’s policy – another example of compliance and non-compliance.
The Central Coast Regional Plan 2036 has not shown leadership on climate change action, therefore any and all actions on climate change are treated with suspicion.
Recommendations made in the Gosford City Council 2010 climate change policy will be repeated in 2018.
At this very slow rate of advancement, it will be another 40 years before zero emissions is a reality.
During this time conflict between the State Government, Central Coast Council and the public will be turbulent.
The intention of the Central Coast Regional Plan dominates Council meeting discussions and agenda items.
The amalgamation of Gosford and Wyong Councils was an indication of the strength of local government compared to state government.
It is big brother and little brother and the same will apply to Council’s climate change policy.
In 1987 Allen Strom, a leader of forward thinking and planning, reported on climate change and associated issues.
Since 1987, there have been countless workshops, meetings, discussions and conferences on climate change, some described as talkfests while others have genuinely tackled the matter and adopted actions.
Each summer is now expected to be longer, hotter and more distressing than the previous summer.
The climate, more than at any other time in modern history, controls human behaviour.
The Council’s response to this situation is to have a zero emissions target by 2050, 32 more years into the future.
Assuming this goal is achieved, climate change will have been a recognised problem for at least 63 years.
I do not assume that zero emissions by 2050 is a guaranteed certainty as the Council does not have the freedom to determine independently its own emission targets.
Its policy must be consistent with that of the State Government.
The bottom line is the State Government controls the Council’s actions on climate change.
Sometime in the future a concerned resident will comment on the lost opportunity in 2018 for Central Coast Council to take real action on climate change.
Discussion on climate change did not take precedence at the Council meeting on July 9.
Discussion of the Mayoral Minute was deferred for a future meeting.
Development and growth issues continue to dominate.

Letter, 12 Jul 2018
Norm Harris, Umina

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