Randwick Greens Councillor Philipa Veitch will be pushing for this year’s Local Government NSW Conference to start calling on the State Government to declare a climate emergency.
Below is the full resolution to Councillor Veitch’s “Climate Change and Planning in NSW” motion that she put to the Randwick Council meeting of the 27th August 2019:
That Local Government NSW calls on the NSW State Government to:
- Declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency;
- Take immediate steps to amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and relevant State Environmental Planning Policies to ensure that all new development is required to meet the highest environmental standards, and funding sources are made available to local government to address the impact of climate change, including measures to:
- Reduce carbon emissions from building and construction;
- Strengthen energy and water efficiency standards in all new developments beyond those currently provided under the BASIX system;
- Introduce a range of funding mechanisms that would allow local councils to build resilience in their communities;
- Improve energy and water efficiency and to reduce heat stress risk in public housing and all NSW Government owned buildings and offices;
- Set tree canopy targets for all metropolitan areas with commensurate funding to be provided by the NSW Government to meet those targets; and
- That Local Government NSW call on all NSW councils to take whatever steps they can, within the existing planning laws, to implement these changes in their local planning regimes wherever practicable.
In signing the Paris Climate Agreement, the Australian government committed to a global goal of zero net emissions by 2050.
Australia’s promised reductions to 2030 exceed even the targets set by the United States, Japan, Canada, South Korea and the European Union. NSW annual emissions per capita are around 18.6 tonnes CO2e, or 25.1% of the Australian total. To put this in perspective, annual emissions in the UK, Germany and Japan are 7.4-11.1 tonnes.
The construction, operation and maintenance of buildings accounts for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. As Australia’s population grows to an estimated 31 million in 2030, even more buildings will be needed – in Sydney alone, 664,000 new homes will be constructed within the next 20 years.