Call to ask local councils to join power program
It was this simple question that Wellington-based minister Rev. Peter Harvey posed to his local council that delivered a big result.
Rev. Harvey asked Dubbo Regional Council to sign onto the Cities Power Partnership (CPP) an important clean energy program that aligns with the Church’s climate justice work.
The CPP is Australia’s largest local government climate network that targets greenhouse gas pollution and climate disruption and the hope is that all Australian local councils will sign on.
The Moderator is now asking Uniting members to reach out to their local councils and ask them to join.
“The Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT is proud to support the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership, which promotes clean energy to councils, towns and cities across Australia,” Rev. Hansford said.
“As a strong supporter of climate justice, the Church is calling on its 50,000 members across 500 congregations to ask local councils to join the Cities Power Partnership and take immediate and decisive action to cut greenhouse gas pollution.”
Rev. Harvey said it was a no-brainer when he discovered that his council weren’t yet part of the project.
“We did have existing relationships with a couple of people on the council. In a meeting we asked if they knew about the CPP and if there was a reason ‘why they hadn’t joined it?’ It was just putting it before them and highlighting the project and the benefits of being part of a national project to speak into the climate debate.
“For Dubbo Regional Council it ended up becoming part of their policy on power and climate within the region. They used the information available from the CPP to guide their policy on power generation and usage within the region, so it was very helpful for them,” Rev. Harvey said.
In 2019, the Climate Action Strategy Task Group was set up to oversee the Synod Climate Action Strategy to reduce carbon emissions across all councils and agencies of the Church and to advocate to Federal, State and local governments to take decisive steps to reduce our emissions nationally.
The Uniting Church has been vocal on the need for climate action since 1977 and was the first major institution in Australia to support the climate strike in August 2019.
All the details on how to do this can be found on the Uniting Earth website.
The CPP requires cities to make five key commitments towards local climate action and focuses on four main areas; renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and community advocacy.