Randwick City Council Declares Climate Emergency – 30th April 2019

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In April 2019 Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch successful moved that Randwick would become one of the world’s local Councils that recognises that there is a climate emergency.

Randwick Council’s residents are accustomed to view iconic Wedding Cake island of Coogee Beach. But will the Climate Emergency mean its eventual submergence as a tourist attraction?

Australia’s poor response to adverse climate change can be compared to other countries via the Climate Action Tracker site.

The following content is sourced from the background material to Councillor Veitch’s motion.

In the absence of policies global warming is expected, to reach 4.1 °C – 4.8 °C above pre-industrial by the end of the century.

The emissions that drive this warming are often called Baseline scenarios and are taken from the IPCC AR5 Working Group III. Current policies presently in place around the world are projected to reduce baseline emissions and result in about 3.3°C 1 warming above pre-industrial levels.

There remains a substantial gap between what governments have promised to do and the total level of actions they have undertaken to date. Furthermore, both the current policy and pledge trajectories lie well above emissions pathways consistent with the Paris Agreement long-term temperature goal.

In 2010, Beyond Zero Emissions calculated the cost of changing from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy would be approximately $8 per household per week, and the cost of solar and wind has fallen significantly since then. In contrast, the economic, human and environmental cost of ignoring climate change is incalculable. The cost of 1.1 metre of sea level rise will be $20 billion in destroyed property in NSW alone.

In 2018, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world must take action in the next two years to avert the disastrous consequences of runaway climate change.

“Climate change is the defining issue of our time…if we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.”

Text of  Randwick Greens Councillor Philipa Vietch’s Climate Emergency motion

That Randwick City Council:

  1. Publicly acknowledges that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government; that human induced climate change represents one of the greatest threats to humanity, civilisation, and other species; and that it is still possible to prevent the most catastrophic outcomes if societies take emergency action, including local councils; and
  2. Bring back a report to Council to examine how council plans, policies and works programs can address the climate emergency, and ensure this is embedded into future council strategic plans.

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