Mosman Council voted on 12 November to declare a Climate Emergency, stating that climate change poses a serious risk and should be treated as an emergency.
“This declaration is in keeping with Mosman’s longstanding commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, and educating our community about living more sustainably,” Mayor Carolyn Corrigan said following the meeting.
“We join with and support other councils and Local Government NSW in calling on state and federal governments to take urgent action to at least meet the Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets.”
At the following Council meeting in December, Council resolved to continue its advocacy with State and Federal governments seeking action on climate change, and to develop a Climate Change Action Plan that will look at options to further reduce CO2 emissions and build environmental resilience in six key areas: energy use, biodiversity and trees, water cycle, waste, transport, built environment, and engaging and educating the community. The Plan will form part of a Resilience Strategy to replace Council’s existing Environmental Management Plans, and build on capacity to respond to a changing climate and set a clear policy direction for Mosman.
Actions already taken by Mosman Council include:
- A commitment to convert lighting in residential streets to LED by December 2020 and planning for potential main street light conversion.
- Retrofitting Council buildings and carparks with LED lights, saving an estimated 216,000kg in CO2 emissions annually.
- Monitoring council and community energy and water usage for potential improvements.
- Upgrading solar panels at the Marie Bashir Sports Centre and planning for Civic Centre installation.
- Supporting local schools in converting to solar power through the Solar My School program.
- Expanding Mosman’s bicycle network by 22km and developing a new Active Transport Plan to reduce car usage.
- Recycling or reusing Council’s green waste from public land.
- Public education and monitoring programs that have helped to reduce Mosman’s landfill waste by 17kg per capita in the last 4 years.
- Initiatives to improve Mosman’s recycling rates, with more than 90% of paper, co-mingled and garden waste currently being recycled.
- Actively protecting 38ha of bushland, and street and park trees, to improve carbon absorption and protect flora and fauna.
- Promoting and facilitating car sharing.
- Supporting the Mackie Lane Community Garden with its composting initiative.
- Planting over 300 trees since April 2019.
Council also implements a wide range of sustainability related initiatives that give residents plenty of opportunities to get involved, including:
- Educational and hands-on local community events such as its ‘Rethink Rubbish Pop-up Beach Series’, ‘Seaside Scavenge’ clean ups, and ‘Ocean Action Pod’.
- Hosting two free e-waste drop offs each year.
- Providing free energy and sustainability assessments for apartments through the Mosman apartment and strata savings program.
- Providing free recycling guide stickers and signage to help improve effective household waste recycling.
- Hosting various events and workshops for residents throughout the year including clothes and toy swaps, free guest author and speaker talks, and practical workshops on topics such as repairing small electrical appliances, decluttering, eco-gardening, living with less and using foods for organic skincare.
- Conducting environmental audits, and educational and eco-gardening workshops for local schools.
- Co-ordinating a number of volunteer groups involved in natural resource and environment care; BushCare, HarbourCare and HarbourCare Teens, and GardenCare.