- Mayor & CouncillorsCity of Greater Geelong
Help make Geelong Region 100% renewables by 2030
Residents in Geelong want to look at a future that doesn’t contain toxic fossil fuels. We don’t want to see any more investments in coal, gas or oil, in infrastructure for export of fossil fuels, or in machines that use it. We want to see our city transformed into a clean, green and sustainable city powered on 100% renewables.
The age of dirty fossil fuels is over. Geelong – along with the rest of the world – is going to transition to clean, renewable energy sources and zero carbon emissions. The only question is how quickly or how slow it is going to happen.
Peer-reviewed climate science, the United Nations and numerous scientific bodies have warned us that we are not doing enough to phase out CO2 emissions, and that this will lead to catastrophic consequences for the climate. We are already feeling the heat, with 2014 and 2015 being the warmest years ever measured on the planet.
In February 2016, global temperatures spiked to well over 1.5°C above pre-industrial times, just weeks after the Paris Climate Agreement set an aim of not exceeding that benchmark. Climate scientists say that we are facing a climate emergency, and that the future of ecosystems and human civilisation now hang in the balance. Our Great Barrier Reef is dying as the oceans heat up and recent fires in Tasmania burned ancient world-heritage forests.
Our moral responsibility to our children and grandchildren doesn’t give us a choice: we must wholeheartedly put all our stakes on clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives now.
The development of renewable energy technology is gaining momentum, and prices have been reduced dramatically in recent years. This development will continue as our demand for renewables increases.
Future Proofing Geelong which is financed by the City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Chamber of Commerce, and a number of state authorities, has put forward a goal for Geelong to become “internationally recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable cities” by 2030, a “productive, vibrant and liveable city.”
It is one or the other, guys! This has to be more than just words. It must be followed by action.
When you sign the petition letter, it is important that you also contribute with a small text about why you think this is important. Geelong citizen's personal comments to the Council will most likely have a greater influence than just the number of signatures.
What does it look like at the moment?
• Australia’s government is subsidising the fossil fuel industry with over $10 billion a year, and this figure is on the rise.
• Australia plans to invest over $100 billion in new coal mining developments over the next 15 years and recently announced it is opening a new Oil, Gas and Coal Growth Centre with a $15 million dollar budget over four years, while it has also recently invested $3.3 million dollars in, yet again, surveying ‘wind turbine sickness.’
• 92 percent of Victoria’s electricity is generated using brown coal, and it is not certain whether the Victorian State Government is going to change its plans to greatly expand coal mining in Victoria through the creation of an export industry, using tax payers money to build new roads and ports. One coal mining licence is soon to be reviewed in Bacchus March.
• Victoria’s, Australia’s and the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise.
• The world is not on track to meet the target agreed by governments to limit the long-term rise in the average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, according to United Nation’s climate panel IPCC, and the International Energy Agency, an autonomous agency which was established in 1974.
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Geelong’s response to the climate emergency
- City of Greater Geelong
Mayor & Councillors
We, the citizens of Greater Geelong,
Committed to the implementation of an energy infrastructure and energy generation at all levels which relies 100 per cent on renewable, non-polluting energy sources,
Recalling that the ten One Planet Living principles, one of which is the ‘Zero Carbon’ principle, provide a framework that allows us to examine the sustainability challenges we face and develop action plans to live and work within a fair share of the earth’s resources,
Appreciating that the City of Greater Geelong Council’s new Environmental Management Strategy is in alignment with the One Planet Living principles,
Recognising that in the current phase, improvement in energy efficiency is just as important as the transitioning to renewable energy,
Referring to the findings of the United Nations’ climate panel IPCC, and the United Nations’ call in January 2014 for a tripling of clean energy investment, (see also: ‘Triple or quadruple renewables’, says a panel of 200 scientists”) which is what is required to stay within 2°C of global warming, and to The United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to help stabilize climate change over the long run, and which provides a framework for doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency while also doubling the share of renewable energy in our energy mix before 2030,
Considering that the process of decarbonising Geelong is also an opportunity to revive and revitalise Geelong’s business life, employment rates and economy,
Reminding that Geelong’s mayor Darryn Lyons during the mayoral election in November 2013 stated in a survey conducted by 94.7 The Pulse that he will advocate for Geelong to become the ‘Cleantech Capital of Australia’. Mr Lyons also promised that he will work for a number of related issues and policies which are yet to be initiated,
Reminding our elected leaders of the specific mandate which has been entrusted to them in Council and Governments to protect us, the citizens, against risks, danger and threats, and that this includes joining the global efforts to establish long-term climate safety on this planet,
Affirming that inclusion of and respect for the diversity of cultures, opinions and political observance is crucial in order to establish the widest possible engagement in our community,
Reaffirming that 100 per cent renewable energy is a single and ultimate goal that unites us, and that numerous papers and studies, such as ‘The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan’ and ‘The Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan’ by Beyond Zero Emissions, have outlined how it is possible for us to reach this goal,
Noting that this energy reform which will transform Australia from a 19th century fossil fuel based, emissions-intensive economy to a 21st-century renewable-energy-powered clean-tech economy is at the heart of contemporary debates about democracy, citizenship, social cohesion, and the development of a smart and knowledge-based economy,
Aspiring to the simple ‘lead by example’ principle and acknowledging that optimism in itself is a very important element in this process, and also to greater awareness of the unity of citizens of Geelong, of Australians as well as humankind in our common need of a safe climate, and of the development of responsible, sustainable business models and policies that have carbon-reducing effects,
Asking our elected leaders to proclaims the following two principles and adopt the following Renewable Energy Declaration and Action Plan for our city:
1) Invest in renewable energy
Massive ‘Marshall-plan-like’ public and private investments must be directed to developing, producing and enhancing renewable energy as well as energy saving technologies. Within our generation, two thirds of our energy must come from non-polluting renewable energy sources, and within two generations, all pollution of the atmosphere must have stopped.
2) Coal, gas and oil must stay in the ground
The era of fossil fuels as our primary energy source are over. Within a generation they must stay in the ground. That means that exploration and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry must end as soon as possible, and all public investment in fossil fuel-based infrastructure must end immediately.
for the implementation of renewable energy in Geelong
It is the responsibility of our elected leaders to take action on this declaration. Legislation and regulation must be adjusted so that it supports and promotes the desired transitioning to a more sustainable and renewable energy mix, opening up new, more decentralised, democratic and clean energy generation.
We, the citizens of Greater Geelong, call for our Local Government to:
→ ensure that the City of Greater Geelong, like Sydney and Melbourne, sets an ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy sources by 2030.
→ assist and support implementation of new community-based solar and wind projects
→ put in place new regulations that ensure that citizens are not rejected by power companies when they wish to invest in solar on their properties while still being connected to the grid
→ make infrastructural changes which encourage carbon-reducing behaviour and means of transport. This includes prioritising improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the streets, lower speed limit for cars in the city centre, many more zebra-crossings, etc.
→ follow up and ensure that Council’s clear stand against any gas mining taking place in our region will lead to a total ban on hydraulic fracturing and onshore gas mining in Victoria
→ lead by example: retrofit all council buildings to increase energy efficiency rating, cycle to work, etc.
→ place standards on block orientation, energy efficiency and rooftop solar on all new housing developments in City of Greater Geelong
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 Darryn Lyons about renewable energy:
Darryn Lyons said in an online questionnaire on 11 November 2013 that he will advocate for City of Greater Geelong transitioning to zero carbon emissions and 100 per cent renewable energy in the same pace or even faster than Melbourne.
Melbourne is aspiring to become a carbon neutral city, and to have zero net carbon emissions by 2020. 25 per cent of electricity from Melbourne’s stationary energy supply will come from renewable sources by 2018, and the city’s commercial and residential sector as well as in its energy production will cut carbon emissions by between 19 and 25 per cent by 2020.
Darryn Lyons further declared that he is ready to advocate for Geelong to follow Sydney’s example and set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 or even sooner, that he will support placing wind turbines on the Barrabool and Bellarine hills, but only after extensive consultation.
He stated that he is against any gas mining taking place in our region until a scientific investigation has assessed what the impact on the environment is, that he supports retrofitting of all council buildings to the increase energy efficiency rating, and he is also in support of standards being placed on block orientation and energy efficiency on all new housing developments in City of Greater Geelong.
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