THE Wilderness Society Illawarra (WSI) claims that Wollongong City Council’s draft budget 2017-2018, currently on public exhibition, has “ignored the financial risks of climate change”.
WSI spokesman Stephen Young said the draft budget states under general assumptions that “potential eventualities [from climate change] have not been specifically included in current forecasts”.
Mr Young says is this is a “head-in-the-sand approach” to climate change. Mr Young said council cannot claim to be fit for the future if they ignore climate change risk.
“We are already seeing increased damage from storms and rising sea levels,” he said.
“Council has a duty to prepare for the future and to provide leadership on climate chang.”
WSI has called on councillors to demonstrate leadership in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Mr Young said while there are some worthwhile measures in the 2017-2018 budget such as investigating landfill gas management, and Solar PV on buildings, there is a notable lack of a whole organisational approach. For example, he said the annual budget should set a target for carbon emissions from Council’s operations across all areas, and require all areas of Council to report on measures taken to achieve the target.
WSI is seeking a meeting with the Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury to request that climate change is more seriously addressed in the budget.
The Bulli Times have contacted Council for comment.