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Councils can offer local solutions to climate change crisis

23 Nov 2021 at 21:53hrs | Views
The 2022 budget consultations for Kwekwe City are now done and dusted. Conspicuously absent from the submissions from the residents were inputs towards programs on climate change.

Residents seem uninterested or ignorant of the climate change challenges that are currently facing the world. People forget that it is those little and localized efforts that changes the world. Indeed Councils can offer local solutions to climate change crisis.

At Cop26 this year, all we heard from diplomats and heads of state negotiating were targets, but when a river bank bursts or a storm hits, it's our local councils that are left to clear up the mess.

Councils are ideally placed to coordinate programs that respond to climate change management.

Councils themselves are enormous users of energy, from lighting the streets to heating buildings and running fleets of vehicles, so they face a challenge in reducing their own reliance on fossil fuels. However, councils can be a key agent in addressing pollution caused by that kind of consumptions.

Local councils could become generators of renewable energy, using council land and buildings to generate wind and solar power for their own and the wider community's use.

This will further address issues of fuel poverty within their areas, at a time when the share of household budgets being spent on heating is on the rise. There are costs involved in setting up such schemes, but the benefits would be produced quickly.

Such municipal energy projects could act as a spur to public sector partners, linking community and commercial energy projects into councils' schemes through local renewable energy grids, avoiding the high cost of relaying energy long distance through the National Grid.

The Housing Department can introduce a policy to have every roof fitted with solar panels for domestic lighting.  Wind turbines can installed on appropriate council land, communities come closer to achieving energy self-sufficiency - an aim attainable within a couple of decades.

Of course, to initiate these schemes, councils require government investment or other private players on a built operate and transfer basis (BOT). These schemes will repay that investment over a period of say 10 to 15 years, through savings on energy bills, the benefits of reducing fuel poverty and an improved local economy.

With the right national government support and planning, councils can use their economic power as major employers as well as owners of infrastructure, property and land, and procurers of goods and services, to be the agents of genuinely just transitions.

While you are sitting without electricity. We have asbestos roofs in most townships. All township roofs can be replaced with complete solar roofs. Each household can have free electricity and sell surplus electricity back into the national grid.

We have a number abandoned mines in and around Kwekwe.Ultra deep level shafts can be used to produce geothermal electricity, or gravitational electricity. Where the shafts are filled with water they can be used to produce hydro electricity.This is another unexploited potential which can green our economy.

Source - Taruberekera Masara
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