Feb. 23, 2021

City Council takes lead: carbon-neutral by 2025

City Council takes lead: carbon-neutral by 2025

Our two guests in The Sustainable Hour no 351 are the City of Greater Geelong councillors Mayor Stephanie Asher and Dr Belinda Moloney.

Our two guests in The Sustainable Hour on 24 February 2021 are the two sitting City of Greater Geelong councillors Mayor Stephanie Asher and the Put Climate First Alliance’s newly appointed councillor Dr Belinda Moloney for what we hope will be a regular appearance on the show.

We hear Mayor Asher very proudly announce the City’s ambitious zero carbon emissions target – more ambitious than most cities and countries have announced. We learn that at the moment they are going through the crucial, but very difficult task of drawing up their annual budget and trying to fit ambitions and needs into a covid restricted amount of funds. At the same time they are developing their four year plan as required under the new Local Government Act.

Councillor Moloney outlines the demands of a new councillor to get herself across the requirements of her demanding, but satisfying position and of the responsibilities she has taken on as she represents both the people in Kardinia Ward, and the wider City of Greater Geelong community and its environment.

We also hear from both councillors about the contentious proposed Viva gas hub in Corio Bay. A topic we’ll be hearing much more about on The Sustainable Hour as part of what we consider to be our responsibility to tell the truth about this explosive and planet-warming fuel – and yes, we’ll be asking Viva to present their case too.

We were left wondering how our leaders at City Hall seem to think that carbon neutrality will be achieved as long as they don’t at the same time take a strong stand and regulate to get the city’s businesses and residents switch to using electricity instead of gas, as New York City’s councillors for instance has done it recently by announcing they are going to ban all new gas installations in their city.

As always, Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook zooms us all over the planet. He starts in the United States where the new Biden administration have just recommitted to the Paris Accord. The international agreement, or a set of carbon emission reduction and renewable energy targets that most countries have agreed to to keep our average global temperature well below 2 degrees Celcius increase. We also learn that John Kerry who is the US’s spokesperson on this matter has strong views that the language used must reflect the urgency of the matter.

There’s no doubting Denmark’s resolve as regards meeting their climate responsibilities. Colin’s next item takes us there with news of very ambitious plans to build an artificial island devoted completely to renewable energy production for the equivalent of 10 million homes. This will provide all their own energy needs, but also allow the excess to be exported to neighbouring countries providing much needed economic opportunities. The big question Colin leaves us with here is: Why not Australia?

We stay in Europe for the next item: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Union, shows herself to be a true climate leader when she announces the European community are prepared to listen to what the science is demanding by being the first continent to announce a carbon neutral target. Not satisfied there, Colin then takes us to New Zealand with the news that, in another world first, big businesses are required to report on what they are doing to reduce their exposure to climate risk.

Until next week we encourage you to find new ways to be that