Noosa Council officers, having determined state and federal governments have done too little to respond effectively to global warming, are advising Council to declare Noosa is in a “Climate Emergency” and take action to set safe climate targets, implement programs and lobby other governments to follow suit.
A report prepared by Council’s Director Environment and Sustainable Development, Carbon Reduction officer and Climate Change Adaptation Program Coordinator was included in Council meetings this week and a request made to Councillors to endorse the following statement:
“Council accepts the latest science on climate change provided in the October 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and acknowledges that the Noosa Shire is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including heat waves, more intense storms and sea level rise all of which is likely to adversely affect the Noosa natural and human environment. Council therefore declares that we are in a ‘Climate Emergency” which requires urgent action by all levels of government”.
The 2018 IPCC ‘Special Report of Global Warming of 1.5C, prepared by 91 authors from 40 countries, cites more than 6000 scientific references with contributions from thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide. The report outlines the impacts of global warming of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels predicted from 2030-2052 which include a climate system that will become increasingly unstable, resulting in more frequent land and marine
heatwaves, increased frequency and intensity of rainfall events and increased risk and duration of droughts. It found reducing the risk required reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the solutions were available and technologically and economically feasible.
Noosa Council is not the first to declare a climate emergency with 627 National and Subnational Governments including the Canadian Government, Republic of Ireland and Auckland City Council (NZ) having made previous declarations along with 24 Australian governments including the ACT, Hobart City Council, Byron Shire Council and the City of Sydney.
Noosa Council would be the first Queensland Council to take such action.
Council officers argue the risk of not declaring a climate emergency is that successive State and Federal governments
will continue to feel confident in producing policies that do not support Australia in meeting its Paris
They say by declaring a climate emergency, Noosa’s commitment to action on climate change is reaffirmed and it could lead to further business opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses working on climate change solutions to set up in the region such as Earthtech at the Peregian Beach Digital Hub.