Central Coast Council’s draft climate change policy is a winner.
There is no doubt that climate change is happening and the consequences of it are affecting our daily lives here on the Peninsula.
Record temperatures over the most recent summer bears witness this.
To deny climate change is folly in the extreme.
The time for opinion is over. The time to act is almost too late.
Thankfully, Central Coast Council’s deliberation of its draft climate change policy on Monday, July 8, after many months of community consultation, ushers in a new phase in how we can work together to tackle the effect of climate change on the Peninsula.
I commend the climate change draft policy as a practical and valid document that will see Council join the vanguard of Australian local councils as they grapple with the reality of climate change and how they can best serve their ratepayers by making practical policy decisions to reduce their carbon emissions as well as sending a clear message that businesses and households can follow suit.
The development of a climate change action plan, with relevant strategies that outline actions on climate change within the Central Coast community, and development, business and industry sectors, is essential.
Council should take advantage of the opportunities that the reality of a carbon-constrained future presents to us, particularly in the business and industry sectors where local firms will be able to participate in the exponential growth of the renewable energy sector.
Council support for the uptake of renewable energy, particularly solar panel installations, which are now more affordable than ever, whether on rooftops, in solar farms or solar gardens, will deliver huge savings on electricity prices to its ratepayers, as well as drastically reduce carbon emissions.
This is an eminently sensible policy and will, ultimately, save Peninsula residents money and angst.
I would like to challenge Council to consider an even more ambitious target of achieving net zero emissions by 2030 rather than the modest goal of doing so by 2050.
Already we see communities across Australia, such as Monash University, the City of Sydney and the ACT, whose population is equivalent to that of the Central Coast LGA, aiming for that goal.
By implementing a strong climate change action plan, Council will become a leader in pragmatic and productive climate change policy that will shine as an example to other local councils.
The adage “Act local, think global” most certainly applies to the Peninsula.
Email, 1 Jul 2019
Gregory John Olsen, Empire Bay