Concerning rises in temperature on the Border have prompted climate change activists to call for more action from residents and businesses alike.
The Border’s mean temperature in 2015 of 16.6 degrees was one degree warmer than the long-standing average.
Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health spokesman Lauriston Muirhead said 2015 was on track to be the hottest year on record globally, indicating the halfway point to the nominated 2 degree cap on temperature rise.
“It means that we’ve already used up a great deal of our safety margin,” he said.
“If we don’t change our ways, we’ll push the climate beyond levels in which civlisation as we know it can continue.”
Mr Muirhead said the effects of climate change were already evident.
“We can begin to see severe effects already in terms of increased fire frequency, longer fire seasons, and more intense fires, for example, as witnessed by two fires threatening Wodonga within two seasons,” he said.
“In the last few years, areas of Wagga were evacuated in floods that were thought to be one in 100 year floods, and the floods kept coming.”
Anything Solar Wodonga Director Bobbi McKibbin said figures on solar take-up in Australia released this week were a positive sign about changing attitudes.
“We’ve hit 1.5 million rooftops and we now have the number of panels for one per person in Australia,” she said.
“That’s pretty exciting that finally, we’re starting to see good uptake with it.
“The unfortunate reality is that we need to act fast, we can’t just sit on our hands and let someone else sort it out.”
We've already used up a great deal of our safety margin- Lauriston Muirhead
According to the Australian PV Institute, Albury has installed more than 8000 killowats of solar power since 2007, with just under 6800 installed in Wodonga.
Sustainability Advisory Committee chairman Daryl Betteridge said Albury City Council was on track to achieve a reduction by 2016 in it’s carbon emissions compared to 2006 levels.
“This has been achieved largely by the new three-waste bin system that has reduced the amount of waste deposited in landfill, and by energy saving measures such as installation of solar panels,” he said.
Wodonga Council Business Services director Trevor Ierino said he was confident the 65 per cent landfill diversion target would be met.
“The introduction of the organics bin has decreased our kerbside waste disposal to landfill by approximately 50 per cent,” he said.
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