Climate Change policy

Aspirations:

That Kiama Council, local businesses and the residents of the Kiama LGA develop and embrace policies for “Net Zero Emissions” and 100% renewable energy across the whole LGA.

That Kiama Council incorporate climate change mitigation and adaption actions in all relevant policies as a matter of course and that all Council decisions consider the climate change implications of subsequent actions.

Kiama Greens recognise that:

  • human induced climate change poses the greatest threat to our world, and urgent and sustained local, national and global action is required now to ensure a safe climate.
  • climate change threatens all aspects of modern life. It is already contributing to disruption of human societies through changing weather patterns, extreme weather events, desertification and sea level rise.  It threatens water and food security, the economy, social cohesion and the well-being of humans and all other living things. Impacts will escalate, putting increased pressure on natural resources and consequent impacts on our ability to satisfy basic human needs. These impacts will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our society.
  • there is an urgent need to both reduce emissions to limit the severity of climate change and to proactively plan for a more hostile climate.
  • Kiama Council has a “Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan” and a “Climate Change Risk Assessment”, both dated from 2009 and that it has made a number of pledges under the Cities Power Partnership regarding alternative energy and related matters.
  • That Kiama Council, as of 23rd July 2021, has released its Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan 2021-2031
  • there is a need to develop a mitigation policy to complement the adaption and risk policies.
  • the data, the science, the predictions and the day to day indications of more frequent and more extreme weather events make twelve year old plans and assessments in serious need of revision.
  • many Councils in NSW have adopted Climate Change policies, much more ambitious than Kiama’s and reflecting the latest predictions for sea level rise and warming of the climate.
  • the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 gives Council action on climate change a much higher status that in the previous version of the regional plan. Objective 15 is to “Plan for a Net Zero region by 2050”. Kiama Greens acknowledges that a more adventurous target is both possible and necessary.
  • the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 is a plan “that recognises opportunities for the Illawarra Shoalhaven to be a leading region in terms of responding to climate change and embracing innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset to drive sustainable growth”.

Kiama Greens will work to:

  • Review and update Council’s existing policies for adaption and risk in line with the latest science, data and predictions.
  • Build on the objectives of Council’s Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan, 2021-2031, working with the Kiama community to develop an LGA wide pro-active Climate Change mitigation policy based on Council and community actions to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Engage residents and businesses fully in the development of these plans so that the whole community becomes aware of both the need for action and the associated strategies and actions they can take.
  • Identify the latest predictions for sea level rise along our coast and incorporate the implications of this rise in Council policies related to development on the coast and the protection of coastal assets.
  • Incorporate climate change implications when assessing new dwelling applications and new subdivision designs to maximise the opportunities for future residents to reduce power costs through passive solar design and electricity generation on site.
  • Ensure that a “right to solar access” is a basic requirement of dwelling design and lot orientation in new subdivisions.
  • Recognise the role that urban greening policies will have in creating “liveable” communities and note Objective 13 of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 to “Increase urban tree canopy cover”.
  • Identify the positive outcomes and economic benefits of moving to a low carbon economy that are relevant to the Kiama LGA

References:
Coffs Harbour Council Climate Change policy
Kiama Council’s Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan 2021-2031