EG CAN Media Release*
Members of East Gippsland Climate Action Network (EG CAN) recently met with East Gippsland Shire Councillors at their regular Tuesday morning briefing session. Sally Kendall, Nick Blandford and Carina Turner presented a compelling case for the declaration of a Climate Emergency in East Gippsland. This was supported by more than 1,600 signatures on a petition calling for the council to declare a Climate Emergency.
Carina outlined the case for declaring a Climate Emergency ‘The declaration of the climate emergency, will encourage the councillors and the council employees to take the lead within our community to allow sustainability to be at the forefront of the council decisions.’
Sally discussed the excellent programs the shire has initiated and the positive affect these are having for the region and beyond. With a Climate Emergency declaration in place, we could ensure that all decisions are made in a framework where the best outcome for the region is achieved while reducing carbon emissions. The community then maximises the long term viability of agriculture, commerce and tourism with preservation of an intact natural environment.
Nick used his experience as a farmer to explain the impact of climate change on agriculture. Mentioning recent government research, Nick discussed the real world impact of the estimated 22% cut in farm income directly related to climate change over the past 20 years. With drought, fire and finally floods across our region Nick highlighted some of the positive work being done by farmers to imbed carbon in their soils as part of creating resilient climate change ready farms.
Nick said ‘by declaring a climate emergency a signal is sent to the community and further to investment capital and supply chains that the leaders of our community are looking beyond adaptation and exploring the opportunities that can benefit the economy, environment and society’.
The group highlighted to councillors that hundreds of governments at all levels across the world have already declared a climate emergency. After the unprecedented drought, capped by horrendous fires, few regions in Australia have a more compelling reason to adopt a Climate Emergency than East Gippsland. The petition has been presented to council, with a motion to follow at a future meeting.”
* This was reported in detail in the Bairnsdale Advertiser (3.4) admittedly on page 14 of a coronavirus slimmed down issue under the heading “Pushing a Case for Climate Emergency”.