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Your views: On the council's 'green power' deal and climate change

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on the Adelaide City Council’s renewable power deal, and the link between fertility and climate change.

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Commenting on the story: Real climate change action will help SA – but we can’t do it alone

You published a letter by David Hall which claimed, in essence, that an increasing global population means there is nothing we can do about climate change.

This contradicts the findings of peer-reviewed science which recognises a complex relationship between fertility and emissions. Reduced household size can result in household spending that increases emissions per capita.

Developed nations like Australia tend to have very high emissions per capita, but despite that their population growth is an extremely small component of global emissions forecasts.

So the key thing we need to do here is to decarbonise all sectors of our economy while reaping the benefits of dramatic drop in the cost of emissions-reductions technologies assisted by mass production in places like China, where bigger transitions are needed and, in fact, are already in train.

Claiming ‘insolvable’ over-population is the sole driver of climate change is a distraction from the increasing range of easier, smarter means of decarbonising the economy, and from the need to create political will for climate solutions. – Jim Allen

Commenting on the story: Renewable energy to fully power city council

As a City of Adelaide resident, I congratulate all elected representatives who supported the move for the city to become South Australia’s first carbon neutral local government by the end of this year. Now that the city will source its energy from wind and solar, there will be meaningful emissions reduction and a modest sign of hope during this summer of fossil fuel exacerbated disasters. This is a worthy response to the climate emergency.

The city’s media release includes the following: ‘The switch to zero emissions sources will reduce emissions by over 11,000 tonnes or the equivalent of taking 3,500 cars off the road’. Good news!

But while the city may be winning the emissions battle in energy, it’s not winning with transport emissions. The city and the state are both increasing emissions from motor vehicles. As InDaily reports, transport emissions in the city have increased by 27 per cent over the period being measured.

In addition, the National Energy Emissions Audit (October 2019) reports that for Australia: “The rise in diesel combustion emissions wipes out cuts to electricity emissions. In the last decade, the share of diesel light commercial vehicles (like utes) has doubled and diesel passenger vehicles has tripled.” SA is part of the wipeout mix. If only we’d emulate Boris!

In another good sign from the city council at its last meeting, responding to the climate emergency, it moved to lobby the State Government to electrify buses, encourage e-taxis, and look at opportunities to purchase electric rubbish trucks and other heavy vehicles. While this is another council-initiated step in the right fossil fuel emissions reduction direction and if achieved would also make the city a much more attractive place to live (cleaner air, less noise), the State Government and Transport Minister Stephan Knoll, in particular, seem content to facilitate more transport emissions as buses get less funding, cycling infrastructure is defunded, kids are less encouraged to be active and roads and intersections get more and more billions. – Peter Lumb

So what is the big deal about this? We took up AGL’s offer to provide “green energy” – sourced entirely from wind, solar etc –  at least 15 years ago. Yes, we happily pay 5 cents per kWh more for it.

So why did the ACC and all the other councils and the federal, state and territory governments not take it up then?

There must be an election in the air and those currently elected to the ACC have suddenly discovered that climate change is real and that they, other councils and governments have been amongst the biggest contributors. – Robert McCormick

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