Newcastle Climate Change Response Inc. Submission to Council’s Climate Action Plan 2020-2025
In general Newcastle Climate Change Response Inc. endorses the actions taken by CN to reduce its own (operational) emissions, and these are to be commended. However, when these emissions are only 0.6% of City-wide emissions (2.5% when Summer Hill Waste Management Centre is included) against a total of 3.84m Tonnes across the LGA (business, residential, educational and operational), and 2 billion tonnes of CO2e emissions originate from Hunter coal exports worldwide, there are key ways the current Climate Action Plan needs to be strengthened so that we are to genuinely play our unique role in stopping global warming.
Here is NCCR Inc.’s feedback on the Plan. Do you support the vision?: YES (but it needs some work). Do you have any feedback on the proposed Targets?: YES: The Plan needs to include Council-wide emissions reduction targets, not mere implementation targets (e.g. % renewable energy). We need to achieve net zero CO2e emissions city-wide (including business, residential, education & Summer Hill, and including gas) by 2030, which means a cut of 3.84 million tonnes (Council's current city-wide emissions, assuming those 2008 figures are still correct of course. We note the out of date nature of the figures included) plus emissions from natural gas (which are omitted from the Plan entirely).
Do you have any feedback on the proposed timeframe to achieve Net Zero Emissions for CN?: YES: As above, to be consistent with actions that are to have a 2/3 chance of the Earth staying below 1.5 degrees C of warming above pre-industrial levels1, Council’s target needs to be Net Zero Emissions by 2030, citywide.
Do you have any other feedback on the Plan?: YES:
Business emissions - Noting that in our council area 70-83% of emissions are from business (and mostly the top 20), cutting these must be a major, funded, detailed part of the plan (beyond the aspirational graph Chart 10, pathways for which are not detailed anywhere in the Plan!).
Council must take its unique opportunity to massively impact global emissions falling to safe levels by working with Councils & industry across the region to lead our fast & just transition away from coal mining & exports. When 2b tonnes of global CO2e emissions originate from our port, this MUST be part of Council's work plan. Council has proved with the Plan that it can cut its own emissions, but these were already tiny: to make real impact, we must also work to help get our region out of coal.
Do you have suggestions on how CN can work with the community to support the transition to a net zero emission City?: YES: Cultural & fiscal incentives to business to get those business emissions DOWN. Compulsory reporting; awards, recognition & rate cuts for those that do the right thing; seminars & support for those that are still learning how (see for example the Hunter SDG Taskforce and the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Awards https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/cna-public-assets/general-downloads/Carbon-Neutral-Adelaide-Awards_Booklet_2019.pdf.); a climate safe procurement & tender policy & more charging points for commercial (& private) electric vehicles.
Happy to discuss. Regards
Jacquie Svenson Co-Convenor For Newcastle Climate Change Response Inc.