Christchurch – The Lord Mayor of Darwin, Kon Vatskalis, says climate change is an economic issue and is critical to their city’s future.
He says they need to act as it is critical to avoid irreparable damage to more than $1billion of community infrastructure including aquatic and recreation centres and the environment.
Vatskalis declared a climate emergency last year because he was alarmed at the escalation of climatic issues impacting Darwin.
“Our aim is to mitigate the impacts of climate change including to human health, ecosystems, infrastructure, the local economy and most importantly to our rate payers,” he says.
Darwin wants to achieve net-zero council-controlled emissions by 2030 and community net-zero emissions by 2040.
New Zealand’s government will declare a climate emergency next week. The country is in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact nearly every aspect of life, especially for children of today.
The only way to avoid the worst impacts of climate crisis and build a zero carbon New Zealand is to take action, such as the government’s declaration next week.
According to the world’s leading scientists there are about just nine years left to cut global warming emissions in half.
Next year is shaping up to see an escalation in climate policy development and climate action but that escalation needs to accelerate year on year for a decade.
Emissions’ reduction and adaptation constitute a transition at a pace and scale which could exceed the reforms of the 1980s, the demilitarisation of post-World War II and the response to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Compare the social, political and economic structures of the world in 1929 to 1989 and there is a sense of the changes people will see between 2020 and 2050.
The world needs to make every effort to manage the transition, to reduce the impact on the most vulnerable and not to alienate each other.
The New Zealand Climate Change Commission’s first package of advice will be open for consultation from early next year.
Meanwhile the covid pandemic has had little impact on the continued rise in atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says.
This year carbon emissions have fallen dramatically due to lockdowns that have cut transport and industry severely.
But this has only marginally slowed the overall rise in concentrations, the scientists say. According to the WMO, the global average in 2019 was 410.5 parts per million (ppm), an increase of 2.6ppm over 2018. This was larger than the increase from 2017 to 2018 and bigger than the average over the past decade.
Thanks to lockdowns in early 2020, carbon emissions fell by 17 percent at their peak, but the overall effect on concentrations has been very small.
Preliminary estimates suggest that CO2 will continue to increase this year but that rise will be reduced by 0.08 to 0.23ppm.