Port residents urged to sign Climate Action Port Stephens petition

TIME FOR ACTION: Climate Action Port Stephens founders Alisha Onslow (left) and Sarah Ekins will be lobbying Port Stephens Council to adopt an action plan on climate.
TIME FOR ACTION: Climate Action Port Stephens founders Alisha Onslow (left) and Sarah Ekins will be lobbying Port Stephens Council to adopt an action plan on climate.

A chance meeting between two passionate environmentalists at a Greenpeace training day held in Newcastle in June has led to a call for action on renewable energy in Port Stephens.

Alisha Onslow, a mother of three from Raymond Terrace, and artist/musician Sarah Ekins, from Corlette, have joined together to form Climate Action Port Stephens (CAPS) in the hope of raising awareness in the community on the looming global climate and ecological crisis.

"Our priority is to work with Port Stephens Council to have this area declared a climate emergency and to commit to transitioning to renewable energies," the pair said.

"We have started a petition in an attempt to get Port Stephens to join another 43 councils from across Australia and 876 declarations globally in 18 different countries to join this movement."

The group is holding an introductory welcome picnic on Saturday, September 7, from 10am at Fingal Bay Park on Marine Drive, where the public is welcome to sign the petition and learn more about CAPS.

"If you are concerned about the climate crisis and don't know what to do about it, then come along and find out how you can help right here, right now."

Ms Onslow said that only last week Central Coast had become the latest council to take a stand and sign the declaration. "Newcastle has committed to being 100 per cent powered by renewables in 2020."

Ms Ekins said that by declaring a climate emergency, Port Stephens Council could demonstrate to the local community that urgent action is needed to restore a safe and healthy planet for generations to come.

"It is our hope that the council can develop a climate emergency action plan and investigate further into effects of climate change on the Port Stephens area and minimise risk where possible," she said.

"The council can also complete costings on transitioning to renewable energies for operations; can look at ways to draw back carbon from the atmosphere; and can educate the community on ways to reduce carbon footprint at home and of the importance of this."

Currently, 97 per cent of the world's scientific community agree climate change has been largely caused by human related carbon and other gas emissions and that the earth is warming at a radically abnormal rate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in late 2018 stated that "we have less than 12 years to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent to keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5 degrees".

CAPS will attend the global climate strike to take place on Friday, September 20, in Newcastle.

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