EUROBODALLA Greens councillor Gabriele Harding said the Greenhouse Action Plan update reported to council last week showed that reducing gas emissions has generated savings of around $1 million a year in energy and water costs for the Shire.
“This is a fantastic result, coming only a year after the council adopted the Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the 2005/06 baseline by 25 per cent by 2020,” Ms Harding said.
Highlights of the report were:
* 22 per cent overall reduction in street lighting electricity usage across Shire. This saves approximately $80,000/year in energy costs at a one off cost to Council of less than $4000.
* Stage 1 of the Solar Project is near completion with a saving in cost of electricity of $112,000 in year one. A significant saving has also been made in the projected costed budget of $1.1 million.
* Fleet emissions are down 12.4 per cent due to tighter vehicle specifications and use of carbon offsets.
The report also showed:
* Total emissions decreased by 2.4 per cent compared to the 2005/06 baseline.
* This represents a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to “a business as usual” scenario.
* Non-waste related emissions are down by 6.9 per cent compared to 05/06 baseline. They are down 16.3 per cent compared to the “business as usual” scenario.
* Large volumes of waste have been reused or recycled and diverted from landfill.
* Significant savings have been achieved via new electricity contracts, demand management and optimisation of water pumping times, solar aerators and sewer relining and pump improvements.
“This report shows real progress towards the 25 per cent reduction goal, and demonstrates that it is meaningful and achievable.
“Most of all, it shows the benefits that can flow to the community through realistic action on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Council needs to continue to resource the plan to ensure that momentum is maintained and the Shire can continue to reap the rewards as we progress towards the target,” Ms Harding said.
IPCC Report launch - scientists certain
THE Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has launched the Fifth Assessment Report, which reveals that scientists are now more certain than ever that humans are causing global warming which is leading to negative impacts on food, water and human security.
The IPCC report is the most thorough and authoritative summary of the world’s scientific research on climate change.
As many as 831 scientists from 35 countries, including Australia, were involved in writing the report, and thousands more contributed to the review process.
Everywhere scientists look, new evidence supports the fact that the Earth is warming—which tells us with increased certainty that climate change is real and that the need to address it is more urgent than ever.
The three key findings:
1. Global average surface temperatures have risen by about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit since the world started using coal and oil and gas for fuel, and two-thirds of that increase has come just since 1950.
2. Scientists are more certain than ever — 95 per cent certain — that most of the warming since 1950 has been caused by humans.
3. If we continue on our present course, it is also very likely that global average temperatures will continue to rise, bringing more extreme weather, more often, costing more money and lives.
When the planet warms at this accelerated rate, it limits our prosperity—by harming natural systems that supply our food, the places we live, the air we breathe and water we drink. We must protect those resources for coming generations.
This is the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report and has hit the global news agenda as the launch comes at a key time during the UN climate change negotiations as governments have committed to negotiating a new, international climate change treaty by 2015.
Additional information about the IPCC report:
* The IPCC reports are considered the most authoritative scientific on climate change in the world and are produced through the involvement of thousands of scientists worldwide.
* The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report will be its first assessment report since 2007, the year the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize.
* The IPCC is organised into three Working Groups and a Task Force with staged launches over the next year.
* Working Group l deals with ‘The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change’ (September 23-26, 2013, Stockholm, Sweden)
* Working Group ll deals with ‘Climate Change Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability’(25-29 March 2014, Yokohama, Japan)
* Working Group lll deals with ‘Mitigation opf Climate Change’ (April 7-11, 2014, Germany)
* The final instalment will be a ‘synthesis report’ which brings together the work of the three working groups into one report. (October 27-31, 2014, Copenhagen Denmark)
* The IPCC is an international body whose governing Panel is made up of government members representing 195 countries.
Source: The Red Agency