People ask what influence can one small city make in the fight against climate change?
The same question was asked in Gloucester Valley, with people wondering how closing single mine at Rocky Hill could help fight against climate change.
But in the Rocky Hill case, the NSW Land and Enviro Court chief judge said: “the global problem of climate change needs to be addressed by multiple local actions to mitigate emissions.”
Other people may also be asking ‘why now’?
Why declare a climate emergency now?
My answer: If not now when?
Time is running out and so the time to act is now.
The NSW Local Government Survey on Climate Change Adaptation found the greatest barriers to increasing climate resilience, were policy changes and inconsistent government approaches.
Being simply aware of climate change isn’t enough. We need to be fostering political leadership and organisational support at all levels of government, especially from Councillors, mayors and general managers.
We can be localising climate change information and tools through environmental, land-use and infrastructure planning.
We can be preparing for warmer temperatures now, so the impact on our health and the effects on our industries are manageable. We can be looking for renewable energy resources and setting the grid up to cope with the added electricity.
Ultimately, we need to make sure Wagga Wagga grows in a way that can be sustained, so our electorate is supported as it faces the future.
If declaring a climate emergency is the first step, it’s a step in the right direction.
I would like to congratulate Councillors and Mayor Greg Conkey in their support of this push to declare a climate change emergency.