Australia needs urgent, strong and authentic action on the climate emergency. It is pleasing that the Albanese Labor Government has committed to emissions reduction target of 43% by 2030 - but more needs to be done to reduce Australia's per capital emissions rates (one of the highest in the world) and reduce global emissions.
Bradfield can do better on the Climate Emergency
The devastating impacts of climate change are intensifying across the world with catastrophic floods, droughts, bushfires, landslides, cyclones and other extreme weather events. Global warming is predicted to exceed the 1.5 degree limit that was agreed in the Paris Agreement.
Searing summer heat waves or ongoing floods are now the norm. 'Extreme' fire days are projected to increase in the coming years. This makes Bradfield’s bushland suburbs particularly vulnerable to catastrophic bushfire with many of its suburbs accessed by only one-road.
We need to THINK globally and ACT locally to ensure we rapidly decarbonise by investing in cheaper and cleaner renewable energy.
According to the 2018 Bureau of Statistics suburbs in the Bradfield electorate have one of the highest uptakes of electric cars in the nation.
We need to stop opening up new coal and gas fields. We are being warned over and over again that we are on the precipice of runaway climate catastrophe. The Albanese Labor Government has promised to take action on this climate emergency and we must hold them to account.
In February 2021 Janine Kitson screened Kathy Drayton’s documentary ‘The Weather Diaries’ which highlights a mother’s grief knowing that her daughter cannot survive on a planet that keeps getting hotter. Following the screening Ian Dunlop, renowned climate authority, spoke with direct honesty, saying "we are running out of time" and that we need to reach net zero emissions before 2030 if we are to escape environmental and societal collapse on a global scale.
The disruption that we are living through with the pandemic will be nothing compared to the disruption caused by climate change. There will be days when it will be simply too dangerous to leave our homes with scorching heatwaves or other extreme weather events such as wild storms.
Bradfield needs to ensure that Australia makes genuine commitment to taking action on climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021. It needs to make a commitment to achieving net zero emissions 'preferably' by 2030.
If we can take action, based on expert scientific advice, for the COVID health crisis - we can do it for climate crisis.
Bradfield can be a renewable energy leader
- Work to achieve zero carbon emissions in the Bradfield electorate eg: the installation of more electric chargers (Bradfield has one of the highest uptakes of electric cars according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2018 motor vehicle census); installation of more household solar, batteries and generators that prolong renewable energy from intermittent sources like wind and solar; and promote energy efficiency.
- Collaborate and strengthen the NSW Government's 10-year plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 through renewable energy zones.
- Collaborate and strengthen Bradfield's local government initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions:
- Willoughby Council has declared a climate emergency and has adopted a number of emission reduction and renewable energy targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and aims to be powered by 50% renewable energy target by 2028.
Ku-ring-gai Council receives approximately 30% of its electricity needs from Moree Solar Farm under a retail contract with Origin Energy; is upgrading its street lighting through Ausgrid’s LED lights that is expected to lower annual electricity consumption by approximately 989 MWh/year; and is currently consulting with its community on how to achieve zero greenhouse emissions by the year 2040.
Hornsby Council has 192kW of solar panel systems and one 15kW wind turbine on its council buildings, libraries, works depot and park facilities.
Bradfield can do better on Biodiversity
Like everywhere on the Australian continent, Bradfield’s rare biodiversity is under threat.
The Federal Government's environment laws - the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) has failed to protect Australia’s environment. An independent review, led by Professor Graeme Samuel AC, deemed the current EPBC Act as not fit for purpose and incapable of halting Australia's extinction and deforestation crises.
The Albanese Labor Government has promised to too strengthen Australia's national environmental laws. We need to hold them to account.
The federal electorate of Bradfield, which includes the bushland suburbs of Chatswood to Asquith, is one of Sydney’s most biodiverse urban areas. Some claim that Bradfield's natural environment is of national significance - and parts even deserve world heritage listing. Bradfield contains extraordinarily environmentally sensitive areas with many threatened ecological communities, including Blue Gum High Forest, Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest and Duffys Forest. The Bradfield environment is under threat by the failure of the current EPBC Act to protect it.
Bradfield’s grand Blue Gum forests, and many of its other unique ecological communities face extinction from the cumulative history of overdevelopment, land clearing, pollution, weeds, pests, disease and the impacts of climate change. Ku-ring-gai’s flying fox colony is particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures as they simply cannot survive soaring heat waves.
There is an urgent need for the Federal Government to invest in recovery plans, restoration and regeneration programs to restore Bradfield’s environmental resilience.
There is hope. Bradfield’s remnant Blue Gum urban forests remain probably the best ‘carbon capture’ and 'air conditioning' there is.