UNITED NATIONS COP 23 – BONN 2017 – COUNCIL MEETING
10 October 2017
Cr Hugh Fraser: I am very pleased to move and to support Cr Brooks’ visit to Bonn to attend the 23rd annual United Nations Conference of the Parties in Bonn in November this year. This Shire has a long and proud history of addressing the issue of climate change and has been a close part of that international dialogue since 2007.
The November 2015 Paris COP 21 conference (of national, regional and local governments) was attended by the Mayor Cr Pittock, myself and CEO Carl Cowie thought this World conference sufficiently important to send an officer Ms Wingad.
The prior South Korea conference (run by ICLEI – the International Commission for Local government Environment Initiatives of which this Council is a member – and hosted by the City of Seoul at their expense with no registration fees) was attended by Cr Rodgers and myself in early 2015. Cr Rodgers previously had attended the UN COP 2007 Bali and 2009 Copenhagen Conferences. There were many practical instructive sessions at these conferences as to how the cities and regions of the world are dealing with climate change, waste and water.
Local government throughout the World has been leading in practical and innovative projects to deal with climate change, energy and waste – as the Mayor of Oakland, on San Francisco Bay, said at Paris: “Governments waffle: cities and regions lead”.
On each occasion a full report was made to Council by the councillors attending these important overseas environment conferences and had, as a consequence, a complete shift in this Council’s policy from a “commitment to a sustainable Peninsula” – which had produced no material changes in council’s carbon footprint – to a “commitment to carbon neutrality by 2021”.
A comprehensive audit of Councils carbon footprint was undertaken, and Council abolished the incomprehensible Council directorate names of “sustainable communities”, “sustainable organizations”, “sustainable infrastructure” and “sustainable environment” and the CEO Carl Cowie created a specialist department of “Climate Change Energy and Water” managed by Ms Wingad.
It is that innovative department which is successfully working through practical tangible projects responding to climate change and reducing Councils carbon footprint – LED street lighting, finance arrangements facilitating private investment in solar panels, solar panels on council buildings and disposal of kerbside waste other than to landfill which generates the greenhouses comprising 48% of our carbon foot print.
In voting to support councillor and officer representation at the 2017 Bonn COP 23 Environment Conference, councilors ought to have no fear that there will be “no tangible benefit to Council”. The record is manifestly that there has been and will continue to be tangible benefits to this Shire.
[The Council divided FOR the motion Crs Celi, Clark, Edge, Fraser and Hearn. AGAINST the motion Crs Colomb, Gill, Martin, Payne, Roper. The motion was lost on the casting vote of the Mayor Cr Colomb.]