Faced with a water shortage more pressing than most developed nations, it’s not surprising that Australia takes climate change very seriously.
“Unlike Canada, water is a premium in Australia,” said Justin Brown, the Australian high commissioner to Canada. “Australia is an incredibly arid continent. We’ve had huge and very severe droughts in our country.”
According to Brown, the Australian climate change policies are driven by the perception that water shortages are a climate-change phenomenon.
That would explain the Australian Government’s target of reducing carbon emissions by 60 per cent by the year 2030, compared to 2000 levels.
The country also set a target of getting 20 per cent of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020. That’s an aggressive target for the world’s largest coal exporter, said Brown.
On Friday, Brown is discussing the public and private sector sustainability programs that the Australian government has initiated to meet those goals at the Inaugural luncheon of Champions in Sustainability Speaker Series at Restaurant International at Algonquin College’s Woodroffe Campus.
The speaker’s series is the first of its kind in Ontario. The series is intended to address the need to fuel the groundswell of sustainability initiatives in the National Capital Region.
The college will offset all carbon emissions related to this event.
“Education is a critical component to empowering a nation, organization, or individual to take positive steps to live sustainably,” said Algonquin president College Robert Gillett. “It is our hope that the Champions of Sustainability Speaker Series will provide a forum to share ideas, best practices, and experiences to help those who want to integrate sustainability into everything they do in their personal and professional lives.”