Local Government is again leading the way in Climate Action.
Three Councils in metropolitan Melbourne have declared a Climate Emergency; Darebin, Moreland and Yarra City Councils. Darebin and Moreland have also come out against the Adani coal mine in the Galilee Basin and divested from Westpac as the only major Australian bank still considering funding the coal mine project.
In declaring a Climate Emergency these Councils have put Climate Change at the centre of each and every decision they make, and will choose the option that reduces their carbon emissions over any alternative. They fully understand the power of leadership in framing the national debate. For me that worked because yesterday I folded one Westpac account and set in train the closure of another.
Darebin is no stranger to the climate action. I first became aware of Darebin when they introduced a solar power scheme whereby the Council bulk bought rooftop solar and entered into an expression of interest with the community for its installation. They chose people who were unable to afford the up front cost themselves. The loan for the system was then amortised into a differential rate for the property, so it was the home that had the loan, not the owner. That way if someone moved on the differential rate stayed with the property. After 10 years the net cost to Council was zero, low-income households had significantly reduced power bills the city as a whole had a reduced carbon emission. Win-win-win.