Summer Reading: Empowerment for climate action

MARY GRAY is a North Perth resident who, like most of the city, is concerned about climate change and reckons there’s a way all of us – including the Voice – can do their bit to turn things around.

THE City of Vincent has declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ and is to be commended for this first step towards local action to address climate change.

What does this mean? And what are the next steps to encourage and achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions and to increase carbon sequestration?

There are lots of actions which can be taken by us householders, by local businesses, and by the City of Vincent.

Here is a golden opportunity for the Voice to start a regular page with information on various initiatives, one or two at a time.

A recent survey of all households in our North Perth street included the question: Are you concerned about climate change? 42 out of 45 said yes, and this is 93 per cent of householders.

Many people however, are not sure what they can do, or what they can ask to be done locally by the city.

Adding solar hot water systems and solar panels and sharing the renewable energy with neighbours are obvious initiatives.

Switching to electric vehicles, and driving smaller and white cars rather than big black cars means less energy consumption for air conditioning.

Planting more local native trees and shrubs in our gardens and street verges will increase oxygen production and carbon sequestration and shade to help cool our suburbs.

It also helps provide food and habitat for our native wildlife.

The heat island effect in outer shadeless suburbs is well recognised.

Awareness raising about suitable local native plants and best gardening techniques is needed.

Installation of underground power supported by the City of Vincent would facilitate growth of an increased tree canopy. Notably the City of Subiaco has already achieved this for their whole municipality.

In redevelopments, the City of Vincent should require a much greater proportion of ‘soft’ cover with planting of local native species and lawn and much less use of concrete.

There is too much hard surface in our suburbs adding to local heating.

And so the list of opportunities in the public interest goes on.

There is lots of sustainable development and 100 per cent renewable energy expertise in the community.

It would be most helpful for the Voice to share it and foster it.

The Ed says: Thanks for the suggestion; consider this our first foray.

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