Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

WE spend a lot of time talking about Them.

They just don’t get it. Why don’t they see the bleeding obvious? Why do they keep doing stupid things?

I am one of the world’s worst offenders. Without saying a word and smiling sweetly, I can spend whole days mentally railing against their worst excesses or their egregious derelictions.

What are they doing about climate change? It ranges from asinine denial to not enough to making things worse.

The Cities Power Partnership (CPP), initiated by the Climate Council and now being taken up by local governments across the country, is an attempt to stop worrying about Them (state and federal governments) and start focusing on Us.

At a local level, there is so much that can be done to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy. And if those local initiatives strengthen and spread, real inroads can be made.

So much can be done to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon economy.– Local solutions

So far 35 councils have signed up, representing three million Australians and each council that signs up goes away to work out five key actions that suit its own circumstances.

These might include employing an officer dedicated to supporting the uptake of renewable energy, installing solar on council buildings, changing public lighting to make it more energy efficient or perhaps more complex schemes such as facilitating large energy users to collectively purchase renewable energy at a low cost.

Personally, I’m keen for council to have an officer specifically dedicated to promoting and advising residents and businesses on renewable energy options. BCCAN members (volunteers) are constantly asked to advise and info-share, which we do; but we simply do not have the capacity to do this properly.

Ahead of the Bathurst Regional Council elections on September 9, Bathurst Community Climate Action Network has written to all 40 candidates asking if they would work towards joining Bathurst as a signatory.

As the answers come in, we are publishing them on our website, where you will also find more information about the CPP.

Tracy Sorensen is president of Bathurst Community Climate Action Network.

This article first appeared in the Bathurst Western Advocate on 25 August 2017.