Climate change action in Newcastle and the Hunter
The cost and negative impacts of climate change action are predicted to be much less than the cost and negative impacts of failing to act. However, negative impacts of climate change action will fall disproportionately on some communities, especially in farming and coal-mining areas, such as the Hunter region.
We would therefore advocate for bipartisan support for following international best practices for the restructuring that will become necessary in the Hunter and similar regions. This might include market-led initiatives and some government-led initiatives.
International experience suggests initiatives of this nature are most successful with planning and implementation over a number of years. For example, if the Hunter was to become an electric car and autonomous vehicle manufacturing region, it would benefit from cooperation between the University, different levels of government, and industry.
There are many conversations already occurring in relation to the possible transition future for the Hunter:
- Weathering the storm: the case for transforming the Hunter Valley
- A just transition to sustainability in a climate change hot spot: the Hunter Valley, Australia
- The Ruhr or Appalachia? Deciding the future of Australia’s coal power workers and communities
In addition in 2019 renewable technologies think tank Beyond Zero Emissions will be producing a report for the Hunter along the lines of those it has done in many other similarly coal-dependent regions of Australia, for example this one in relation to the Northern Territory. We will post the report here once it is produced, and update this page regularly as further developments occur.
The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.