As you’re all probably aware, following Climate Action Now Wingecarribee’s (CANWin) successful Climate Forum in November last year, and the Extinction Rebellion march through Bowral on a scorching 43 degree day on 1 February, Wingecarribee Council finally made a Climate Emergency Declaration for the Shire.
Part of Council’s resolution for the Declaration was a commitment by it to prepare a “Shire Wide Community Climate Change Emergency Plan which is reviewed annually”. This prompted Extinction Rebellion Southern Highlands to put out a call for a meeting of various environmental groups and activists to develop a community plan that went beyond the Council’s commitment.
Born out of this meeting was WinZero – Wingecarribee Net Zero Emissions – which has been given the task of building on the long-standing environmental activism of its predecessor CANWin. The aim of WinZero is to transition our Shire to net zero carbon emissions over the next 10 to 15 years… or sooner if possible!
The aim of this group is to bring positive change across the shire, working with Council, individuals and businesses to address the climate emergency, and develop a thriving environment and economy for all.
In order to achieve this, the group is putting together a detailed, scientifically based action plan across all sectors of our community to transition the Wingecarribee Shire to be carbon neutral. This action plan will have two different arms, one that will be presented to Council as a road map that our local government can implement, the other will be focused on what the community (both businesses and individuals) can achieve.
WinZero has five main sub-groups who are actively working on developing emissions reduction projects in the following areas – Natural Environment (e.g. regenerative landscaping, habitat connectivity), Built Environment (e,g, energy efficient houses), Energy (e.g. solar installations, renewable energy Power Purchase Agreements), Transport (e.g. electrification of vehicles, EV charging infrastructure) and Waste Management (e.g. organics and plastics processing).
WinZero has joined over 50 other communities in an Australia wide group called Beyond Zero Emissions. It’s worth checking them out on the link: https://bze.org.au/zero-carbon-communities/
These connections with other groups will allow WinZero to draw on their experience in achieving similar goals. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel! Of particular interest is the work done by the Byron Bay group, which is well advanced. You can check them out at: https://zerobyron.org