UNITED FIGHT: More than 1000 people spell out RENEWABLE on the beach at Peregian.
UNITED FIGHT: More than 1000 people spell out RENEWABLE on the beach at Peregian. Contributed

Human sign pushes case for climate change action

SUNSHINE Coast residents turned out in force on Saturday to join a national call for action on climate change.

Organisers estimated almost 1000 people combined on the beach at Peregian to spell out RENEWABLE in human letters, in the process creating one of the largest signs in the country.

Noosa Council's Carbon Reduction Officer Annie Nolan said communities from Tathra to Mount Kosciuszko as well as the Pacific Islands had joined the protest which would result in a video put together by the Clean Energy For Eternity calling for immediate steps to reduce carbon emissions.

Noosa Council has set a 2026 target of 2026 to achieve net zero emissions for all of its operations, facilities and activities.

Mayor Tony Wellington who spoke passionately on Saturday about the need for change said climate change was the pressing environmental issue.

"We've known about the impacts of climate change for over 40 years, and every year the evidence just gets stronger," he said.

"In England there is no debate in the conservative ranks. Margaret Thatcher was a supporter of action on climate change. Here in Australia, John Howard went to the 2007 election promising an emissions trading scheme. Yet right now, in this country, we have precious little leadership from our federal parliament on the matter."

Cr Wellington said the suggestion coal was needed to provide jobs was just absurd, particularly so given that clean energy projects employed many more people than a business-as-usual scenario.

"According to the Climate Council's analysis, if we were to reach 50 per cent renewable energy nationally by the year 2030, an additional 28,000 full time jobs would have been created," he said. 

"Renewables have much lower capital costs than gas and coal power generating systems, and they can be built faster and more efficiently.

"There are those who argue that we shouldn't bother with greenhouse gas emissions because Australia is only a small contributor globally.

"Yet we are one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world. Either we take responsibility for our actions, or else we act like spoilt brats and pretend that we can ignore that responsibility."

Noosa Council was one of the inaugural members of the Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership made up of councils committed to a sustainable, non-polluting energy future.