Shepparton News

Greater Shepparton City Council urges climate change action

- By Darren Linton

Greater Shepparton City Council has welcomed a shift towards a commitment to a 2050 net zero emissions target by the Federal Government.

Council declared a climate emergency and adopted a 2030 zero carbon emission target in March 2020 in response to growing community concerns regarding the inaction by the government to address climate change and the very real threat it posed.

Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said the council was calling on the Commonweal­th to show strong leadership and implement a 2050 net zero emissions target for the greater good of the region and the wider nation.

‘‘Climate change poses a threat to the safety of life, stability of our climate and risk to the economic, social and environmen­tal conditions we enjoy today,’’ she said.

‘‘The youth in greater Shepparton have been particular­ly vocal in this space, outlining the many concerns for their future which further strengthen­s its importance.’’

Cr O’Keeffe said climate change posed a significan­t threat to the lifestyle and profitabil­ity of the agricultur­e sector in particular in greater Shepparton, with rising temperatur­es affecting productivi­ty and future economic growth.

Cr O’Keeffe acknowledg­ed achieving the target would require building on the work that both the state and local government­s had already put in place to capitalise on existing networks and leading businesses, specifical­ly the agricultur­al sector.

‘‘Greater Shepparton relies heavily on agricultur­e. We are experienci­ng the impacts of climate change already and are aware the impacts will be much more substantia­l and detrimenta­l as time passes,’’ she said.

‘‘Climate change will significan­tly threaten our economic and social prosperity. It is vitally important that negotiatio­ns to discuss this target are open and transparen­t so that the public, interest groups and local government have a voice that is heard and we can all have input into how these targets are achieved.’’

Council wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum this week, ahead of Sunday’s National party room meeting.

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