The Southern Highlands community has banded together to take a strong stance on climate change.
A group of citizens have created the organisation WinZero - Wingecarribee Zero Carbon Emissions - to represent and coordinate all the environmental groups in the shire.
Before the pandemic but still in the haze of bushfires, members of the local community demonstrated concern for the environment in greater numbers than ever before.
A full house at Bowral Town Hall for the Climate Forum, was followed months later by a Climate Emergency March.
Wingecarribee Shire Council also joined other local governments around the country, and declared a Climate Emergency earlier this year.
WinZero's ultimate goal is for Wingecarribee Shire to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not before.
It is a goal that WinZero spokesperson Gaye White believes is an achievable one.
"Everything we need to become 'net zero' in this beautiful place we live is at our fingertips right now," she said.
"We just need to make it happen, and the result will be an environment our children can grow up in that is sustainable for the present, and many future generations."
Through the Climate Emergency Declaration, Council has committed to developing a Community Climate Change Emergency Plan which has the potential to deliver a range of support programs in response to the emergency.
One of WinZero's aims is to pursue 'express budget provision' for climate action projects.
"The Climate Emergency Declaration by WSC in February was a positive development. However, in order to effectively address the challenges of climate change, we need to work together across all aspects of society," Dr John Hewson said.
"WinZero is the opportunity to unite and create a resilient and prosperous future for all. The community's response to Covid-19 should serve as a dress rehearsal as to how much, and how fast, we can work together in an important common cause".
WinZero will hold events whenever it's safe to do so.
And anyone who would like to keep up to date with what's happening can visit www.winzero.com.au and sign up for the newsletter.
WinZero also plans to engage with council and the community and is always open to new ideas, suggestions and volunteers.
WinZero (formerly Climate Action Now Wingecarribee Inc- CANWin) represents Low Carbon Living Southern Highlands (LCLSH), Southern Highlands Community Renewable Energy (SCORE), SH Landcare Network, Moss Vale Community Garden, Extinction Rebellion Wingecarribee, Schools Strike 4 Climate, Battle for Berrima and Southern Highlands Parents for Climate Action.
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