Climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives across Local Government will be provided much needed support with a new overarching State policy.

The WA Local Government Association welcomed yesterday’s announcement to develop a new State climate change policy, following sector advocacy for a contemporary State strategy to address the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change in WA.  

WALGA President Cr Lynne Craigie said in the adoption of their own policy statement in July, the sector had called for all levels of Government to act urgently to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change which are now unavoidable. 

“WA Local Governments are already actively engaged in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities, but regulatory hurdles at the State level hinder a range of beneficial projects such as large renewable energy projects, energy efficient street lighting retrofits and the protection of our urban forest,” Cr Craigie said.

“To have this commitment from the State to develop a new policy shows their leadership in this area and Local Governments look forward to seeing within it a strong agenda to accelerate emissions reductions.” 

Cr Craigie said the policy needs to address regulations currently preventing Local Governments, the community and business from being able to do more to act on climate change, to enable projects that offer a range of additional social and financial benefits. 

“Local Governments are already grappling with the effects of climate change, including impacts on human health, coastal erosion and extreme weather events,” she said.

“An effective State climate change policy must include a comprehensive approach to adaptation that partners with Local Governments to help WA prepare for the wide ranging impacts of climate change. 

“The State Government has previously indicated their willingness to look at establishing a formal Climate Change Partnership Agreement with Local Government and we will now seek to progress this together with, and complementary to, the State’s new policy.

“WALGA looks forward to collaborating with the State Government in the development of the climate change policy to enable the transition to a low carbon and resilient WA.”

The full text of the WALGA Climate Change Policy Statement adopted in July 2018 can be viewed here.