Shire engages in a climate of change

Shire engages in a climate of change

Shire president Michelle Rich is working to address the issues brought on by climate change at a local level. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has moved to address climate change at a local level by joining a network of progressive and likeminded councils tackling the issue head on.

The shire became the newest member of the Cities Power Partnership, a group of 70 local governments across the country seeking to transform Australia’s energy future.

An initiative of the Climate Council, the Cities Power Partnership helps local governments promote clean energy technology, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and other community-focussed climate solutions.

Shire president Michelle Rich said the partnership provided the shire with access to industry-leading ideas and information, which would be used to help reduce local greenhouse emissions.

“Global change begins with local action and through the Cities Power Partnership we’re showing the shire has a genuine desire to do our bit to address climate change,” she said.

“As Australia’s fastest-growing local government we recognise the challenge of balancing the needs of a growing population with preserving our environmental values.

“However, we’re meeting this challenge head on by taking measures, like joining the Cities Power Partnership, which will help protect our connection with nature.”

Ms Rich said across the country towns and cities were surging ahead with greenhouse gas reduction plans, switching to cleaner energy, building greener, efficient and more resilient communities.

She said she was pleased to say the shire was playing an important part in this.

The announcement reinforces the shire’s commitment energy conservation and comes after the shire, City of Gosnells and City of Armadale recently captured a National Energy Efficiency Award for the Switched on Homes program.

Climate councillor and international climate scientist professor Will Steffen said local governments were emerging as the frontline for tackling climate change in Australia.

“We are pleased to welcome the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale to the Cities Power Partnership, and congratulate shire president on rolling up their sleeves to tackle climate change,” he said.

“Councils have an opportunity to play a crucial role to in reducing Australia’s rising greenhouse gas pollution levels.

“Transforming the way cities and towns use energy could make up to 70 per cent of the greenhouse gas emission reductions needed to limit worsening climate change.”