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 Oceania eNews 
February 2015   

 



2015 will continue to see ICLEI take to the international stage providing an opportunity for local governments worldwide to build consensus and action on global climate change impacts and local sustainable goals. ICLEI Members provide the base on which such action can be aggregated and influence decision makers across local, state and federal governments. It is through membership support that we are able to be strong advocates for local action.

The Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific 2015 Congress in Bangkok, 11 – 13 February, hosted by the Bangkok Municipal Administration on behalf of ICLEI and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change will be a landmark event for those in the Asia Pacific region and will be the first in a series for our region. We are fortunate indeed to have representation from the Pacific Islands - Honiara City Council represented by Mayor Alfrence Fatai and Deputy Mayor Eddie Ngava and Port Vila Municipal Council represented by Mayor Ulrich Sumptoh and Mr Theophile Massing. The Asia Pacific Congress builds on the success of the annual Resilient Cities Congress hosted by the City of Bonn.

On 8 April the ICLEI World Congress 2015 will commence in Seoul, South Korea providing 4 days of high-level plenaries, sub-plenaries, parallel sessions, mobile workshops, and trainings. The Congress will bring together some 1,500 participants including local government leaders from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The triennial World Congress sets the 3 years strategic and is a unique local and global experience. Councils wishing to attend should contact the Oceania Secretariat for program and registration details.  

I look forward to your interest and participation in upcoming ICLEI events, programs and projects.

Martin Brennan
Regional Director

 

February News

Lima: the not-so-bad news


February 11 – 13, 2015 Bangkok, Thailand

As international climate conferences go, the Lima meeting was a success. The agreed text broke down the previously rigid distinction between Annex 1 (developed) and Annex 2 (less-developed) countries, opening up the possibility of an agreement under which all countries make substantial efforts to reduce global emissions, with the biggest cuts coming, appropriately, from the wealthier countries. The previously agreed target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius has been strengthened to “below 2 or 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.”

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2015 Eco-City Urban Ecology Symposium

March 30 to April 1 2015
Storey Hall
Opportunities for Involvement


Expressions of interest are sought from individuals and organisations for participation in the up coming 2015 Eco-city Urban Ecology Symposium. This event for the future wellbeing and liveability of Melbourne will be held in the prime location of Storey Hall at RMIT over three days. The symposium will broadly cover six themes - Planning, Transport, Energy, Wellbeing, Food and Circular Economy.

Opportunities for Involvement
Contact urban.ecology@rmit.edu.au if you would like to get involved.

Download flyer for getting involved.

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Inner Sydney council to divest from fossil fuels

Marrickville Councillors have voted for the council to offload its investments in fossil fuels, joining the international ‘divestment’ movement. As a first step, the council will be ensuring over $15 million dollars are no longer invested in fossil fuels, with an aim to increase this amount. "Marrickville Council has a strong commitment to combating climate change, with programs aimed at cutting emissions. By adopting this motion we will prefer financial institutions that avoid funding fossil fuels, such as coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, or coal seam gas projects in Camden,” says Councillor Max Phillips.

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Townsville bolsters resilience with UN help



Townsville in Far North Queensland is the first Australian city to use a new disaster resilience scorecard developed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction in partnership with AECOM and IBM. The scorecard is an open-source methodology designed for local government use that assists with planning and implementing mitigation measures, engaging stakeholders and designing and delivering recovery plans for infrastructure, services, businesses and the broader community.

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100 Resilient Cities 



The cities of Melbourne and Christchurch are now well advanced in the Rockefeller Foundation funded 100 Resilient Cities program.  And Sydney and Wellington are about to start the process with their agenda-setting workshops. Meanwhile in Indonesia, Steve Gawler from ICLEI Oceania has been coordinating the introductory planning and workshop with Semarang City.  ICLEI wishes all 5 cities a very productive and inclusive process as they develop long-term resilience strategies.  Other cities wishing to join the program can apply in the third round of applications, due April 2015.  Please talk with us at ICLEI Oceania if you would like further information or go to www.100resilientcities.org.

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A sustainability vision for the Sunshine Coast



The Sunshine Coast Council has a grand vision: to be the most sustainable region in the nation. Mayor Mark Jamieson says the council is embracing “game-changing projects” that will drive economic growth and community prosperity for the region. “To be economically sustainable we need to ensure we have the quality and breadth of industry to provide meaningful and well-paid employment for the region’s workers,” he says.

Read more

Livewell Yarra Launch


Thursday, 5 March 2015

     7.00pm - 9.00pm

Fitzroy Town Hall, 201 Napier St


Livewell Cluster have been created to help individuals reduce their carbon foorprint while maintaining or enhancing their wellbeing.  The launch will feature guest speakers Professor Ross Garnaut, author of the two Garnaut Climate Change Reviews and Fiona Armstrong, founder of the Climate and Health Alliance.

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Extreme WA Heatwave to Continue


The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting extreme heatwave conditions to continue for large parts of Western Australia, with severe heatwave conditions extending into the Northern Territory. A very large, slow moving hot air mass currently situated over inland Western Australia is causing a build up of heat, which has already seen widespread temperatures in the mid-to-high 40s for the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Interior regions this week. On 21 January Carnarvon (WA) recorded its equal hottest day, and hottest January day, with a maximum temperature of 47.8°C.

Australia temperatures rising faster than rest of the world: official report



Australia faced a rise in temperature of potentially more than 5 degrees celsius by the end of the century, an increase that would outpace global warming worldwide, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has reported. In its most comprehensive analysis yet of the impacts of climate change, the CSIRO has painted a worst-case scenario of a rise of up to 5.1 degrees celsius by 2090 if there are no actions taken to cut greenhouse emissions.

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Garnaut Warns on China Coal Cuts



Australia’s coal miners could face greater stress in coming years as reductions to China’s use of thermal coal are coming at a faster clip than previously thought, prominent economist Ross Garnaut has said, according to The Australian Financial Review. Professor Garnaut said China’s thermal coal consumption declined by about 3 per cent last year as its energy transition gathered momentum. “China is continuing to make progress on its energy transition,” Professor Garnaut told the AFR.

Read more

Water Savings to be Found in Golf Courses 



The trend toward low rainfall and the drying climate in the State’s south-west means golf courses - like households, businesses and governments - are under growing pressure to get smarter about reducing water use; and water efficiency.

With water savings already over 25 GL, WA Councils are encouraged to tap into Australias first Waterwise Golf Program as part of their Action Plans.

Read more

Opportunities for Carbon Abatement Vanishing 



Policy uncertainty and the removal of the carbon tax have shrunk available emissions reduction opportunities immensely, including those in the building sector, according to a new report by RepuTex. The report is the first to look at Australia’s marginal cost of abatement in 2030 since the well-known McKinsey and Company report in 2008. It found that emissions reduction opportunities are rapidly decreasing across six key sectors – power, forestry, industry, buildings, agriculture and transport – and becoming more expensive, thanks largely to policy uncertainty and delays in investment.

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It’s working – energy efficiency pushes down electricity use; but carbon is up



Energy efficiency in the commercial and residential sector is working. At least that’s part of the reason for a predicted drop in electricity consumption of 1.1 per cent between June 2014 and June 2016 compared to 2013 demand, according to the Australian Energy Regulator’s 2014 State of the Energy Market report, released in December last year. The savings equates to more than 2000 gigawatt-hours less electricity consumed. The bad news is that after the abolition of the carbon tax, carbon emissions from electricity generation are up.

Read more

Low-energy urbanisation 'can help climate goals'
 



A study of 274 cities has helped shed light on energy consumption in urban areas and what can be done to make future urbanisation more efficient. Globally, cities are best placed to mitigate emissions as urban areas are much more energy intensive than rural areas, say researchers. Most people now live in urban areas, a trend that is accelerating as the global population continues to grow.

Read more

Last year was officially the hottest on record
 



The final numbers are in: 2014 is officially the hottest year on record in the past 135 years, NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The record does not come as a surprise as it’s another marker of the sustained accumulation of heat in the atmosphere thanks to the unabated emissions of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, with the exception of the blockbuster El Nino year of 1998.

Read more

Cities Hold the Key to a Sustainable Future



Cities play a decisive role in ensuring a more sustainable future. In Copenhagen we have some of the most ambitious sustainability goals of any city and by 2025 we will become the first carbon-neutral capital. We are already well on our way. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and cities are responsible for about 75 per cent of all CO2 emissions. Mayors all over the world are responsible for more than just dealing with the effects of climate change; they hold the key to preventing it from getting worse.

Read more

Rhetoric will never yield meaningful results: Yvo de Boer  



For years, as the leader of the United Nation’s climate change negotiating process, Yvo de Boer sought to broker consensus from 194 diverse nations to agree on actions to tackle climate change. He presided over the negotiations from 2006 till 2010, and helped raise the profile of climate change globally, where it moved from the fringes to take its place at the top of the global agenda.

Read more

Time for the Vatican to divest from fossil fuels?



The Vatican should usher in a fossil-fuel free era by committing to divest its assets from the fossil fuel industry, says climate activist Lidy Nacpil. As our people bravely struggle to rise above the challenges brought about by the climate crisis, we join other peoples of the South in demanding that governments meet their responsibility and fulfill their obligations to address this global crisis. For years we have seen how economic growth and corporate interests always take precedence over the survival and the well-being of our people.

Read more

Give yourself an extra $10,000 a year – sell the car



Australian commuters can save themselves $10,000 a year or more simply by using public transport to commute to work instead of a car, according to a new report prepared by the Australasian Railway Association. The Costs of Commuting: An Analysis of Potential Commuter Savings report, gives a breakdown for all Australian capital cities, as well as Auckland and Wellington, of what the costs are to own and run a car and commute via the most popular routes, the availability and costs of public transport, and the savings achieved by either not using a car for commuting or forgoing car ownership or a second family car.

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Who needs cars? Smart mobility can make cities sustainable
 


Medellín’s Metrocable system

2015 offers a big chance for the international community to help put cities on a more sustainable path. We at the World Bank and the World Resources Institute believe that we must seize this opportunity, because cities and urban mobility are key to a sustainable future. Business-as-usual urbanisation patterns come at a hefty price. Cities already produce 70 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and traffic crashes claim 1.2 million lives per year, with developing cities carrying the greatest burden.

Read more

Globalizing Sustainable Development 
 




The question of how the world can end extreme poverty and improve human well-being will take on new urgency in 2015, as the Millennium Development Goals expire and a new set of goals—the proposed Sustainable Development Goals - are finalized. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Synthesis Report’, outlining the main elements of the post-2015 agenda, provides strong guidance regarding what sustainable development should look like and what world leaders must do over the next 15 years to achieve it.

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Membership

ICLEI World Secretariat based in Bonn provides a range of programs for towns and cities to participate that add value to their sustainability and climate action policies and practices.

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The Oceania Secretariat provides advocacy, networking, information sharing and targeted projects that enhance the work of Members and informs the broader Local Government sector.


Host City, ICLEI Oceania Secretariat

Join the ICLEI Oceania LinkedIn Group


LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations and allows members to strengthen and extend their existing network of trusted contacts.

It's a great way to share stories and invite discussion on sustainability practices and approaches that are working in your Council is via the ICLEI Oceania LinkedIn group.

Join the ICLEI LinkedIn group

ICLEI Oceania Regional Executive Committee–RexCom

Chair: Cr Cathy Oke, City of Melbourne, Victoria
Cr Roberto Colanzi, City of Yarra, Victoria
Cr Caroline Knight, City of Mandurah, Western Australia
Cr Wayne Walker, City of Auckland, New Zealand

Mayor Troy Pickard, City of Joondalup, Western Australia - Global Executive Committee Member (Biodiversity Portfolio)

Host City, Water Campaign Australia
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