2020 - what a year!
Fire, storms, flood, pandemic. In Eurobodalla Shire, we were especially hard-hit by fire which took lives and devastated our environment, health and economy.
The BOM/CSIRO State of the Climate 2020 warns that extreme temperatures, fires and storms could become the "new normal" within 20 years. It is a future we must work our damn hardest to prevent, but alas, we must also prepare.
So, we need our leaders to step up and make climate actions an urgent priority of 2021. We need Eurobodalla shire to join the 98 Australian local governments in declaring a climate emergency.
This is not a symbolic gesture - it has real benefits for the community without costing the ratepayers a single dollar more. Speaking on recent beach erosion, Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said that in the face of climate-driven disasters, vulnerable shires need to: " ... do better ... in putting policies in place which actually protect [the economic security of their communities] ... and seize the opportunities that are available."
We need the council to implement the local government-level recommendations of the official bushfire inquiries.
We need the council to encourage local businesses to take up the many opportunities inherent in climate solutions: in clean energy, electric transport, energy efficiency, regenerative and carbon farming, mosaic burning, biodiversity conservation and entirely new industries. These opportunities don't cost jobs. They mean more jobs.
Last summer, the South Coast showed the world the tragic consequences of where the world is heading if we fail to urgently address global warming. Let's take the lessons we learnt from COVID and apply them in fighting climate change -- working together, building resilience, being science-guided and acting quickly.
Please join us at our solutions-focused community forum in autumn to action these ideas.