Simon waves Byron's flag high at UN conference in Paris
A LITTLE bit of Byron Bay will be shown off in Paris this week when Byron Shire mayor Cr Simon Richardson shares the council's experiences at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Cr Richardson was invited to promote the shire's Zero Emissions Byron project at the United Nations Framework convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris.
"Whatever target countries sign up to in Paris, even if it's lower than it should be, it will give security and confidence to regions, councils and companies and they will take that security and far outstrip that target," Cr Richardson said.
"I'll be involved in the Cities and Regions conference where representatives from around the world will be showcasing what we're doing and learning from each other."
Byron Shire is aiming to become Australia's first council to generate zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 through an ambitious project called Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB), a joint initiative of Byron Shire Council, climate research organisation Beyond Zero Emissions, partnered with the Queensland Centre for Social Change.
"When facing the low carbon future ahead of us, we have two choices: ride the wave and make Byron economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and an inspiring model, or tread water in the foam out the back of the wave and hope we don't get left behind," Cr Richardson said.
"This project has the potential to secure millions of dollars of renewable energy and emission reduction investment, to secure and enhance the rich biodiversity of the region and support local communities establish co-operative models of living.
"Re-navigating our economy to one powered by locally or regionally generated renewable energy with zero net emissions will create jobs, establish sustainable economies and ensure our society lives in balance with its environment."