Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Nepean Ward Councillor Hugh Fraser is currently attending the 25th United Nations Conference of the Parties in Madrid to present on behalf of Australian Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, ICLEI – International Commission for Local Government Environment Initiatives.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is a member of ICLEI, however Councillor Fraser is on a self-funded visit to take part in the international climate change conference.
Councillor Fraser spoke about Mornington Peninsula Shire’s recent declaration of a climate emergency during the opening plenary on the first day of the climate change conference (2 December 2019) in Madrid.
Councillor Fraser said following a recent review of Council’s own carbon footprint Mornington Peninsula Shire Council declared a climate emergency. The Council first undertook a carbon footprint profile five years ago and committed to being carbon neutral by 2021, with a five year implementation plan. Council is now developing a climate emergency plan, building on its climate neutrality commitment.
“Here at COP25 in Madrid, local and other subnational governments globally announce their readiness to engage with their national governments throughout 2020 to transform the enormous potential of climate emergency mobilisation into new national climate plans,” he said.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said Council was pleased that Councillor Hugh Fraser was presenting at the international climate change conference.
“Mornington Peninsula Shire Council recognises the importance of taking action on climate change at a local government level, as shown by our climate emergency declaration this year,” Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said.
“But we need all levels of government around the world to work together to make real change for future generations,” he said.
Mornington Peninsula Shire declared a climate emergency on 13 August 2019, a decision that was met with resounding support from community members. The decision was unanimous with all Councillors delivering passionate and personal support for the need to address climate change with urgent action today.
Council’s declaration, which mirrors around 1000 similar local governments across Australia and the world, recognises the significant damage climate change is causing to our economy, society and environment and that urgent action is required to reverse current trends.
The motion also called for the Australian State and Federal Governments to follow suit and declare a climate emergency supported with legislated programs.
Following the declaration the Shire undertook community consultation to ask for feedback and ideas, and is now developing a community supported Climate Emergency Plan outlining clear targets, outcomes, estimated budgets and timeframes for the Mornington Peninsula.
A draft plan will be prepared for Council review by February 2020 and will be available for public exhibition in approximately May 2020.
The 25th United Nations Conference of the Parties in Madrid runs from 2 – 13 December 2019.