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     Oceania eNews 
March 2017

                                       Editorial                       
 

Amazingly, we are still seeing national governments exhibiting uncertainty, even paralysis and denial, towards the urgency of tackling climate change. The rise of more conservative parties and governments is likely to see this trend continue.
 
Yet we are also seeing fresh reports that the impacts of global warming are worsening, and that the world is unlikely to achieve the 2 percent cap on global warming agreed in Paris, let alone the 1.5% cap which would give a greater chance of survival for low-lying countries. 
The Australian Climate Council released a new report last month “Cranking Up the Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events” showing that Climate change is now influencing all extreme weather events.  “While the links between climate change and some extreme weather events such as bushfires and heatwaves are well-established, the evidence linking climate change to storms and heavy rainfall is also growing”. www.climatecouncil.org.au

Recent research shows that the disruptions to rainfall patterns in the Pacific due to El Nino and La Nina will be worsened – more frequent and more extreme - by unabated growth in greenhouse gas emissions.  www.nature.com

So what does this mean for our sector?  Looking overseas, the US and Canada offer some interesting lessons. 

In response to the new administration in the US, mayors from dozens of cities have vowed to step up their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An open letter was signed by 48 mayors, challenging the incoming president to support city-led efforts to ward off global warming.

“With a federal government that’s hostile to climate action, more and faster climate action work from cities, states and businesses will be required to stay anywhere near on track with our carbon pollution goals,” said Sam Adams, the former mayor of Portland, Oregon, and current director of the World Resources Institute United States.

In Canada the new government has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving their Paris target with a comprehensive suite of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs – responding to a groundswell of community concern.

Former US Vice President Al Gore will launch his new movie “An Inconvenient Sequel” in July this year, urging sub-national governments (that’s us!) to step into the vacuum and drive the climate agenda.  Mr Gore will be a keynote speaker at the Ecocity World Summit in Melbourne in July too (see separate story).

While it’s understandable that governments may worry about the economy, jobs and energy security, these endeavours have to be accommodated in a finite planet which is getting hotter and more dangerous. 


Steve Gawler, ICLEI Oceania, Regional Director


March News - Top Stories

Climate and energy leadership
 
Despite the national debate about renewable energy targets, local governments are responding to community concern about climate change by taking action to reduce carbon emissions while developing local and regional climate change adaptation approaches. The Compact of Mayors is part of the international local government alliance on climate and energy.
 
Councils in Australia have out-performed local government globally with a high proportion meeting all compliance steps, usually within one year, due largely to the fact that Australian councils already have existing comprehensive strategies, plans, and action on corporate and sometimes community responses.
 
While the Compact of Mayors is reporting on over 630 member local councils globally just 8 per cent have met all compliance steps; in Australia that figure jumps to 54 per cent meeting all steps outlined in the Compact.
 
Local councils have not had to take such a big leap to join the Compact of Mayors and be recognised internationally for their local action. Leader councils were initially concerned that a comprehensive community emissions report may hold up their reporting or be too expensive.
 
Councils usually start with a good understanding of their corporate emissions and the value of a municipal wide emissions profile. Many have set targets or aspirations for reduction of greenhouse gases either matching or exceeding national or state targets. Finally most councils have a climate plan that covers mitigation or adaptation or both.

Councils can get a free assessment from ICLEI to see how they "measure up".


 
ICLEI-ACCCRN workshop in Bangkok

Marking the end of the 6-year ICLEI-ACCCRN program, a workshop for 30 city representatives and ICLEI staff was held in Bangkok on 27 February and 1 March.  Participants shared information about their analysis of climate risks and resultant actions and solutions.  The London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) partnered with ICLEI Oceania to analyse the experiences of the city teams in working through the ICLEI planning process and the common threats and interventions identified.  At the opening of the event Mr Ashvin Dayal, Associate Vice President and Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation, launched a catalogue which provides snapshots of Engagement Building grant projects awarded to many of the participating cities. (see separate story).
 
Honiara better prepared for disasters

Honiara City has now completed a rapid assessment of how well prepared they are for future disasters.  The Assessment was supported by the UN Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and ICLEI Oceania.  Participants used an international self-assessment tool to analyse their response to the 2014 floods and identify ways to strengthen their preparedness for future disasters, and also to take pre-emptive action to reduce the loss and damage from floods, fires, storms etc.
 
High priority areas for action included better planning and coordination, building more resilient critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water supply, and restoring their environment to provide natural buffers against disasters.
 
And the good news is that Honiara has now been selected as one of 20 “least developed country” cities to receive additional support from the European Union, via UNISDR, to develop strategies and projects to build their disaster resilience.  This new program will kick off in 2017 and will build on the ICLEI rapid assessment.
 
Supporting the Honiara disaster exercise has been part of ICLEI Oceania’s strategy to work with local authorities in Pacific Island countries to develop broad resilience.  This in turn is part of a new ICLEI global strategy to support small island states through a special “Community of Towns, Cities and Provinces of Small Island Nations”.
 
Honiara has also signed up to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, formerly the Compact of Mayors.
 
For more information on the Small Islands Community please see here

March News in brief

How do you measure up?

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ICLEI Oceania, with funding support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, now offers councils a free rapid assessment to determine the work and resources required for the Compact of Mayors. In addition, through technical partners like Ironbark Sustainability, a fully compliant community emissions inventory (called GPC) is being offered for less than $5000 including annual reviews.

Until the end of March 2017 ICLEI Oceania will provide a $2000 reduction to that GPC inventory for the first 10 councils joining the Compact of Mayors through a letter of intent.  This reduces the overall cost to under $3000.
 
For more information call ICLEI Oceania on 03 96398688, email: 
oceania@iclei.org or visit our website 

Be a part of the EcoMobility World Festival 2017







1-31 October 2017
Kaohsiung
Chinese Taipei


ICLEI Oceania is inviting Members who wish to be a part of an Australian/New Zealand/Pacific Island delegation bound for the EcoMobility World Festival 2017.
 
Please send your Expression of Interest to oceania@iclei.org.

See  EcoMobility World Festival 2017

 

Local Government Guide to Fostering Corporate Social Responsibility


ICLEI Associate Helen Scott has recently finalised this excellent publication.  She is Research Associate and PhD Candidate at RMIT’s School of Global Urban and Social Studies. The Guide provides examples of how local governments in different parts of the world have engaged the private sector to foster their CSR responsibilities.
 
Access the publication here

ICLEI ACCCRN Engagement Building Grants Catalogue



As part of the ICLEI Oceania grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to support Asian cities to undertake climate resilience planning, funds were included to provide small grants to participating cities to test-drive some of their planned actions.  The grants focused on projects designed to boost the level of community participation and ownership. A total of 15 grants were awarded.  Snapshots of the projects have been collated into a Catalogue which was launched by Mr Ashvin Dayal, Associate Vice President and Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation, on 27 February.  

Click here to read more and access catalogue.
 

Australian Councils Smash Through the Century with LED Lighting

In early February 2017, Australian local government passed a tremendous milestone with the number of councils that have completed an energy efficient street lighting changeover passing the century mark. There have now been over 368,000 street lights already changed over in Australia to energy efficient alternatives like LED, representing around 16% of all lights and 23% of all residential (or local) roads. Learn from the 103 Australian councils that have already completed a bulk changeover. The decades of hard work from council officers, managers and elected members, as well as advocacy and knowledge-sharing from organisations such as the Public Lighting Group and ICLEI Oceania have paid off. 

Read more

UNAA World Environment Day Climate Action Awards




The 2017 UNAA Climate Action Awards are now open nationally and tickets to the Climate Collaboration for Action Forum are on sale!
The United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards (WEDA), established in 2000, is designed to recognise innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives from across Australia and the important work of Australian environmental leaders.  In 2017 the Awards will be incorporated into the UNAA Climate Collaboration Forum and include a new focus on climate management and action. The event will also be a key feature of the UNAA’s work to promote implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 – Climate Action.

See UNAA World Environment Day Climate Action Awards for more information

Adelaide City Council inspiring green space by going vertical



 

Last year Adelaide City Council unveiled a living green wall on their Customer Centre building.
In the effort to encourage greening of more than just the city streets, they have also released
a Green City Grants Program to match funding of up to $10,000 for local residents or businesses
investing in vertical greenery. This forward-thinking funding will not only cool the city,
but will also make it more aesthetically pleasing. 
 

ECOCITY World Summit



12-14 July 2017
Melbourne Australia


Ecocity 2017: Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformation will bring together a diverse mix of researchers, policy makers and citizens with a common focus on identifying and creating pathways to more sustainable, resilient and equitable cities.
 
Registration for the Summit is now open with early bird savings available until 31 March 2017. 
 
For more information and to register visit
Ecocity 2017
 

 


 

Sustainable Cities: A visual story by ICLEI



Cities are faced with rapid urbanization, shifting economic and demographic trends, the impacts of climate change, overuse of resources and a number of pressing development challenges. Now, with the adoption of global sustainability frameworks, from the Sustainable Development Goals to the Paris Agreement and New Urban Agenda, they are a core part of a growing global movement towards sustainability.

Click here - Sustainable Cities: A visual story by ICLEI

 

COMING SOON - Election for ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee




 


This is your chance to help shape ICLEI programs and events for the next 3 years.  A call for nominations for the new ICLEI RexCom will be issued in April, with the election following mid-year. 

To be eligible to sit on the RexCom you need to be an elected member of an ICLEI member city or association. 

Please contact Steve Gawler, steve.gawler@iclei.org, if you would like to discuss or to seek further information. 

More news will follow soon.


 

The Next Big Business Risk - Sea Level Rise



Climate Alliance is hosting two events to address the business risks resulting from sea level rise and storm surge.

19 April 2017
Melbourne VIC
 
20 April, 2017

The Rocks NSW


The presentations will look at the science, the cadastral data available for decision makers and the perspective from the insurance industry.

ICLEI members receive a 25% discount by using the promotional GuestSLR (case sensitive) when booking tickets through Eventbrite.

For more information and to register click here
 

SAVE the DATE - ICLEI World Congress 



June 2018
ICLEI World Congress
Montreal, Canada


ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee–RexCom

Chair: Cr Cathy Oke, City of Melbourne, Victoria

Cr Caroline Knight, City of Mandurah, Western Australia

Cr Eddie Ngava, Honiara City Council, Solomon Islands

Cr Wayne Walker, City of Auckland, New Zealand




Host City

 
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