David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: Melbourne sets the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets of any Australian city and is on path to achieve them.

TARGET DATE: June 2003 PROGRESS: Achieved.

DESCRIPTION: Human induced greenhouse gas emissions are increasing the temperature of the atmosphere, which is causing climate change. By analogy to human health, a very small increase in atmosphere temperature can have significant and uncertain consequences for the normal operation of the Earth's climatic systems.

An Australian Government report released on 10 December 2003 concluded that Australia is vulnerable to changes in temperature and precipitation projected for the next 50 to 100 years, because it already has extensive arid and semi-arid areas, relatively high rainfall variability from year to year, and existing pressures on water supply in many areas. In addition, vulnerability arises due to high fire risk, Australian ecosystems sensitive to climate change, and invasion by exotic animal and plant species introduced by human activity. Australia also has a high concentration of population in coastal areas, an economy strongly dependent on world commodity prices, tourism dependent on the health of the Great Barrier Reef and other fragile ecosystems, and economically and socially disadvantaged groups of people. Impacts of climate change will be complex and to some degree uncertain, but increased foresight would enable us to optimise the future through planned adaptation and mitigation. Mitigation can reduce the ultimate extent of climate change and its impacts, but is a global problem requiring co-operative global solutions. Adaptation is essential to cope with unavoidable climate changes, and in this country is essentially a task to be performed by Australians for Australians in each local situation.

Melbourne City Council has become a world leader in its commitment to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and those of its community by working with the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) to set the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets of any Australian local government. They are to achieve a 30% reduction by 2010 from 1996 levels for Council operations and 20% for the Community. The Council has also committed to Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2020 through a another Green Achievement described on this website and viewable by clicking on the underlined title.

While I was Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee, Melbourne set the most ambitious Greenhouse Gas reduction targets of any Australian Council.

Melbourne was the first Council to achieve the final Milestone 5 of the ICLEI Cities for Climate Protection Campaign.

The City of Melbourne was awarded a 2002 World Environment Day Award for the Best Specific Environmental Initiative in the Local Government Category United Nations.

The MCC media release following describes the award and Melbourne's achievement.

Council Wins Environment Award

Melbourne City Council this week won an award for its world-leading commitment and work towards stabilising climate change, presented by the United Nations Association of Australia.

The World Environment Day Award for Best Specific Environmental Initiative in the Local Government Category was accepted by the Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee, Cr. David Risstrom. "This award is a culmination of a significant amount of work by Council over almost three years, reducing corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions under the Cities for Climate Protection and Greenhouse Challenge programs," Cr. Risstrom said.

Melbourne City Council was the first council in Australia to reach Milestone 5 under the Cities for Climate Protection Program and is on track to achieve its 30 per cent corporate greenhouse reduction goal by 2010.

"This is in contrast to the Federal Government's current strategy to increase greenhouse emissions by 8 per cent by 2010," Cr. Risstrom said. The Council has also successfully forged strategic partnerships with the business sector to achieve municipal greenhouse reductions, is one of the single largest purchasers of Green Power (wind power) in Australia, and is currently developing a strategy to achieve zero net emissions across the municipality by 2020.

"This is the most ambitious target of any council in Australia," he said. Cr. Risstrom is also an Executive Member of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives, which has been involved in the co-ordination of the Cities for Climate Protection Program. "During our term, this Council has been dedicated to pursuing environmental initiatives and we are now leading Australia in this area," Cr. Risstrom said. "We are very proud to have received this award and grateful that our achievements have been recognised," he said.



Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.