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Local Governments and Climate Change

Acknowledging Climate Change
1.1.1 Local Government recognises that the global climate is changing as a consequence of increased concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and that these increased concentrations are largely the result of human activities.
1.1.2 Local Government considers climate change to be a serious current threat to our current way of life and the Earth’s ecosystems.
1.1.3 Local Government acknowledges that some human-induced climate change is already having an impact on human and natural communities and that further climate change will occur as a result of past, present and future emissions.

Australia's Obligation to Act
1.3.1 Local Government acknowledges that the Australian community has historically contributed, and continues to contribute, disproportionately to global greenhouse gas emissions. Australia has achieved considerable economic wealth in the process. It therefore has a responsibility for current climate change and an ethical obligation and opportunity to play a leadership role, commensurate with its capabilities, in contributing to the national and global greenhouse gas reductions necessary to avoid dangerous climate change.
1.3.2 Local Government asserts that climate change, being a matter of national significance, is a direct responsibility of the State and Federal Governments and that as a result the State and Federal Governments have an obligation to address climate change in cooperation with Local Government, and in consultation with the Australian community as a whole.

The policy positions above, are outlined in WALGA's Policy Statement on Climate Change (2009), and the climate change section of WALGA Advocacy Position Statements.

Climate Change Declaration Signatories
Local Governments from across Western Australia have committed to WALGA’s Climate Change Declaration that demonstrates their acknowledgment of the impacts of climate change and their commitment to developing locally appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to manage climate change. To date, 40 Local Governments have signed the Climate Change Declaration, representing 65% of Western Australia’s population. WALGA encourages all remaining Local Governments to become signatories of the Declaration, which will further support WALGA to advocate for the appropriate funding and development of legislative mechanisms to support Local Government climate change management.

Comments sought on WALGA Draft Climate Change Policy Statement

Following on from WALGA’s release of the Climate Change Policy Statement Discussion Paper , WALGA has now produced a draft revised WALGA Climate Change Policy
WALGA received a total of 26 responses in response to the Climate Change Policy Statement Discussion Paper. Roughly half were individual responses (some officers, some councillors) and the other half were responses endorsed by the Local Government. Responses were overwhelmingly supportive of producing a strong policy statement, that reflects the scientific consensus, international developments (e.g. the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals) and most importantly, the fact that Local Governments are already experiencing climate change, and taking mitigation and adaptation action.
Councillors, CEOs and Local Government Officers are encouraged to consider the draft Climate Change Policy Statement and provide any comments by cob Tuesday 24 April to Laura Simes (Environment Policy Advisor,  lsimes@walga.asn.au).
After input has been received and considered, the draft Policy Statement will be submitted to State Council for its approval or comment. If endorsed by State Council, it will provide the basis for WALGA’s climate change advocacy plan, which will be developed in consultation with the sector and further detail how WALGA will promote and prosecute Local Governments’ key climate change priorities over the next few years.

Climate Change Policy Statement Review – comments now closed 

Climate change is a key issue for Local Governments that impacts almost all aspects of their operations and responsibilities.  
WALGA is reviewing the existing Policy Statement on Climate Change, endorsed by State Council in 2009 to ensure it reflects the contemporary views of the sector and takes into account the significant scientific, technological and political developments that have occurred in that time.

The Discussion Paper was released for input from Local Government from November 2017 - mid January 2018. WALGA is currently reviewing all comments to produce a draft revised Climate Change Policy Statement. A summary \of input received will also be published in due course. Click here to veiw the discussion paper.

For further information, contact Laura Simes, Environment Policy Advisor, lsimes@walga.asn.au  or 9213 2049.

WALGA provides the following Climate Change information for Local Governments:


WALGA's Carbon Reduction Efforts
6 Star NABERS Energy Rating

WALGA headquarters in West Leederville was officially operational on 20 January 2014. The Office achieved a five star Green Star Design rating, and a six star NABERS energy rating. Further information is set out in the documents below: