A new Draft Greenhouse Strategy has been developed and Geelong Council is now seeking community feedback. That means they would like to hear what you and I think about it.
This paper is more significant than it may look. If you care about climate change, this is an opportunity to do your bit: just five minutes of your time can make a real difference here!
Go to this page – and tell Council what you think about their draft paper. Before Sunday 5pm!
What to write?
Five major points you may wish to include in your response (or copy-paste, if you like):
• I strongly support the City's goal to reduce Council's greenhouse emissions by 50% from 2014-15 levels by 2020.
• While it is good that the City’s intends working towards becoming a ‘Zero Carbon’ Council, I urge the City to adopt Victoria's target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Or even sooner)
• Given the urgent need for all of us to rapidly reduce our emissions*, I encourage the City to have more initiatives aimed at reducing emissions in the whole community, not just in Council's buildings and fleet.
• Given the current ‘Our Future’ visioning process being run by the City, I suggest the Greenhouse reduction strategy needs to be more outward rather than inward looking.
• I recommend that the Draft Greenhouse Strategy be merged with Environment Management Strategy and Low Carbon Growth Plan as soon as possible.
* The record high global temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization, and scientists are stressing that the evidence for the reality of a climate emergency is getting stronger all the time. See also www.climateemergencydeclaration.org
Geelong Sustainability's submission
Geelong Sustainability has submitted a response, and we wrote, among other things:
. . . . .
We congratulate Council on its goal to achieve 50% emissions reduction from Council’s buildings and vehicle fleet from 2014-15 levels by 2020, and we commend the City’s intention to work towards becoming a ‘Zero Carbon’ Council.
One general comment (and shortcoming) arises from the current ‘Our Future’ visioning process, but also from the urgent need for rapid action to mitigate the effects of climate change. We believe the strategy is focused too much on Council operations. We would suggest that it should offer leadership to the whole municipality by displaying a more ‘outward’ (i.e. ‘community’) focus.
We would recommend the next version should be merged with the ‘Environment Management Strategy’ document and the ClimateWorks ‘Low Carbon Growth Plan’, which have clearly identified many carbon reduction opportunities for businesses and households.
We think the vision statement should be an unambiguous picture of our city in the carbon-constrained mid-century world, rather than a statement of the process of getting there (which could perhaps be described as the strategy’s mission). In this regard, we would strongly suggest committing the City to the Victorian Government’s greenhouse gas emissions target of zero by 2050 as a clear vision for all sectors in Greater Geelong. This headline outcome needs to be front and centre in this document.
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Submissions close at 5pm on Sunday 20 November
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Radio interview about the Greenhouse Strategy
The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 2 November 2016 focused on greenhouse gasses and carbon emissions – and how we will reduce them. Rodney Thomas, manager of the Environment Department at City of Greater Geelong, was guest in the studio, and he explained in detail about Council’s new Greenhouse Strategy and the aims with it. Listen here