For immediate release
10th April 2016
Climate Action Group urges Council not to reduce Renewable Energy Targets
Climate Angel Marnie Cotton visited Karangi water treatment plant and other Council sites ideal for solar power, ahead of a petition delivery to Council on Thursday. “What is the Council waiting for?” she asked, “Karangi water treatment plant is one of Council’s biggest energy users. Solar panels here would be just heavenly, paying for themselves in just a few years and greatly reducing carbon pollution.”
Coffs Harbour Council will vote on the next stage of its Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan (REERP) at this Thursday’s meeting. Ms Cotton, a member of Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, says the plan contains some positive initiatives, such as LED street lighting, but is disappointed by the proposal to reduce the 2020 Renewable Energy Target from 25% to just 10% of Council’s energy use.
“Council has a great opportunity to create a secure, modern clean energy system for the Coffs Coast. Do they want to be leaders or laggards?” Ms Cotton asked, “Other Councils in our region are acting: Lismore Council has a renewable energy target of 100% by 2023, and Byron Shire is aiming for net zero emissions within a decade. Our modest target is fully achievable and fully affordable. To drop the target now would be an embarrassment and a missed opportunity.”
“I recently had solar panels installed on my home – and everyone can see they are popping up all over the Coffs Coast. There are good reasons for this! Sure, there’s an upfront cost - but it’s an investment, with a great financial return through savings in energy bills. It’s bizarre that Council seems unable to understand this, when so many residents can. For me, solar power is also an essential investment in my children’s future. With climate change already destroying our coral reefs and impacting people through more intense droughts, bushfires and other extreme weather, all of us need to play our part in cutting carbon pollution,” Ms Cotton added.
“The so-called ‘plan’ going to Council this week lacks clarity and fails to provide leadership. Just how do they propose meeting emissions reduction targets without a faster transition to renewable energy? The community has had enough of empty promises. It’s time for real action.”
Climate Angels and other members of Coffs Coast Climate Action Group will deliver the petition
– which calls on Council to stick to its targets - at 1pm on Thursday. Concerned community members are encouraged to attend the Council meeting at 5pm Thursday to show their support for a strong, decisive plan to transition to renewable energy and cut emissions.
Media are invited to attend the petition handover at 1pm Thursday 14th April outside Coffs Harbour Council Chambers.
Catie Dale, mobile 0413 211 162
Sarah Wood, mobile 0431 299 707