This week, we were proud to host Professor Ross Garnaut, advisor to the Federal Government on climate change, for the Sydney launch of his updated Climate Change Review. Prof. Garnaut spoke at packed public forum on Wednesday night and our best attended Business Forum earlier in the day.
Prof. Garnaut congratulated the City on our work, saying, "I have seen few, if any, programs to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the ambition of those embodied in the work program of the City of Sydney."
As a world-recognised economist, Prof. Garnaut took care to explain that the City's investment and planning, which will eventually take our entire City off the coal-fired energy grid, would provide economic protection for our residents. He explained, "The Sydney programs will have a triple benefit in shielding residents and businesses from all of the main sources of electricity and energy costs in the period ahead."
The Garnaut update warns that even with current international commitments to reduce carbon emissions, global average temperatures could rise by 3Â°C or 4Â°C with 6Â°C a possibility.
"An increase of 2Â°C increase would have significant implications for the distribution of rainfall in Australia, the frequency and intensity of flood and drought, the intensity of cyclones and the intensity and frequency of conditions for catastrophic bushfires," the report warns.
In the absence of State and Federal leadership to respond to this crisis, I am proud the City is leading the way to reduce our emissions and save residents money on their electricity bill.