WA councils sign up for climate change action
Councils across Western Australia have joined in support of an urgent call for action to redress the impacts of climate change, with the release of a new Climate Change Policy Statement endorsed by the WA Local Government Association’s State Council. WALGA President Cr Lynne Craigie said the new statement was the result of extensive consultation of the sector with strong support for increased climate change action. “Local Governments are committed to climate change action, and most are already active in this space,” Cr Craigie said. “Many Local Governments have helped achieve reduced energy bills and increased amenity for residents through activities such as renewable energy projects; behaviour change and awareness campaigns; policies planning for erosion and sea level rise; as well as policies protecting and increasing our urban forests. “We recognise, however, that we are at a critical juncture and that an effective response requires all levels of government to act.” Cr Craigie said whilst many mitigation activities were already occurring, more long-term planning at the State and Federal levels and greater government support would help remove the remaining barriers to transition to a low carbon, energy efficient economy. “Communities have shown their interest in reducing their impact through Local Government supported programs such as the Switch Your Thinking! energy efficiency program,” Cr Craigie said. “In addition, we are now seeing businesses and insurers shift towards energy efficient and renewable technologies, and with government support these actions can be accelerated. “We are pleased that the State Government recently indicated its willingness to look at establishing a formal Climate Change Partnership Agreement with Local Governments – this is something our members have expressly called for through the Policy Statement. “We look forward to working with the State Government on this critical issue, and urge the Commonwealth Government step up its efforts to act on climate change.” The full text of the WALGA Climate Change Policy Statement can be viewed here.