JUST days out from Saturday’s election, mayors from municipalities throughout Australia have demanded that the next federal government takes swift action to tackle climate change.
The 15 mayors – including Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Cr David Gill – are from the Cities Power Partnership, the country’s largest local government climate alliance.
Cr Gill said local governments around Australia and the world have “been leading on climate action for decades” but their efforts were increasingly being stifled by the “shocking inaction” of state and federal governments.
“This election, the conversation we should be having is about the devastating costs of not taking climate action.”
Cr Gill said that without urgent, coordinated, and global action to reduce emissions and shift to renewable energy the environment will suffer through “runaway climate change”.
Cr Gill and the other mayors want the next federal government to “support us to better tackle climate change, adopt a higher renewable energy target, introduce mandatory disclosure of building energy ratings, and overhaul the National Building Code”.
In a joint statement released last week the mayors demand more federal support for local work on climate change, commitment to a national 100 per cent renewable energy target and rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.
Their main demands are for a strong national climate policy aligned to the science and a national commitment to rapidly transitioning to 100 per cent clean energy; support for the rapid phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies which contribute to climate change; and provision of long-term finance to support clean energy and sustainable transport, including rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations, and better transport infrastructure.
The mayors’ coincided with the release of a Climate Council report – “Compound Costs” – which predicts a further drop in property values “unless urgent steps are taken to address climate change”.
It says climate change is a “major threat to Australia’s financial stability and poses systemic economic risks across the country and the region”.
Climate risk expert and “Compound Costs” report author Dr Karl Mallon said the property market was “expected to lose $571 billion in value by 2030 due to climate change and extreme weather and will continue to lose value in the coming decades if emissions remain high”.
“This is the largest analysis of property risk from climate change ever undertaken in Australia and uses the latest data from our universities,” Dr Mallon said.