A brief look at WALGA climate change projects

WALGA (Western Australia Local Government Association) works for the Local Governments of Western Australia. As a peak industry body, WALGA provides advocacy on the behalf of 138 Western Australia Local Governments, negotiating service agreements across the sector.

However, WALGA is not an official government agency or department. The group was formed in 2001 as a means to provide a united voice for the many Local Governments in Western Australia.

WALGA’s structure is made up of several internal business teams that take on policy or advocacy jobs for the benefit of the Local Government sector and offer services in order to help Local Governments with performing their respective duties.

As part of their work for Local Governments, WALGA has projects that help to combat and raise awareness about environmental issues. Their aim is to provide support to Local Governments in tackling environmental issues.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the most notable WALGA climate change projects.

Energy efficient LED street lighting

One of the WALGA climate change projects concerns to use of street lighting. The use of energy efficient LED street lights is implemented based around environmental, economic and public safety concerns.

Urban forests

Another WALGA climate change concern is that of urban forestry. An urban forest refers to the trees, vegetation and other green spaces that grow in urbanised areas.

Urban forests remain an important part of Local Government policy as their presence can help reduce the “heat island” effect as well as creating green spaces in otherwise heavily urban areas.

Coastal Areas

WALGA climate change projects also address the environmental impact on coastal areas. Due to environmental pressure, coastal regions can be affected by erosion and inundation.

WALGA climate change projects asses the level of risk for coastal regions based on plans for adaptation, community responses and the capacity to recover.

Divestment from fossil fuels

A prominent WALGA climate change strategy involves the divestment from banks and superannuation funds that have their own investments in fossil fuel extraction and processing. As the burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming, this WALGA climate change initiative is designed to help Local Governments apply gradual pressure to the fossil fuel industry by divesting from their associated banks and super funds.

FFA (Fossil Free Australia) is a WALGA climate change initiative that gives Local Governments an easy-to-follow guide on how to divest totally from banks and super funds that support the fossil fuel industry.

WALGA climate change declaration

One of the WALGA climate change initiatives is their climate change declaration that they encourage Local Governments to become signatories of. The declaration is designed to support Local Governments in advocacy for the funding of legislation that can help support climate change management in communities.

Mitigation tools

WALGA has also developed tools that allow Local Governments to plan mitigation strategies.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

WALGA’s 2014 guideline creates an easy-to-follow set of steps for measuring and combating greenhouse gas emissions. It contains information on the development and implementation of emission abatement and reduction strategies.

Western Australia Local Government mitigation action

This records the development, implementation and progress of climate change mitigation strategies by Local Governments.

MACC (Marginal Cost Curve Abatement Tool)

This tool is designed to help inform the decisions by Local Governments by helping to figure out which carbon reduction mechanism is most cost-effective. It also helps to give Local Governments a visual representation of their abatement strategy, listing everything from most cost-effective to lease cost-effective.

This tool is useful in allowing non-experts to easily see which strategies are making a difference while measuring its cost the Local Government treasury.