A local government in Australia thinks reducing carbon footprint is more important that safety of women — even if that reduction is so small that it would hardly count.
City of Sydney council recently refused to install lights in an inner city park, saying installation of a few lights would add to the carbon footprint.
Several women had complained that they felt unsafe exercising in the park in early morning and at night due to inadequate lighting. Some women bring their own torches.
“It’s pitch dark before we get up there, so we always bring two torches per trainer and we’ll floodlight the area,” said Hannah Porteus, who trains a group in the park after dark. “There’s always about three or four guys training up there, but there’s no women to be seen throughout winter months which is such a shame.”
The council, headed by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, rejected the proposal, saying any further lighting would “add to the city’s carbon footprint”.
In June, the council declared a climate emergency backing a proposal by Lord Mayor Moore. She said it was a necessary step as successive governments “have shamefully presided over a climate disaster”.
Councillor Craig Chung voted against the motion and moved an amendment to tone down the language.
“The climate alarmists… they hijacked the debate and the language that they use is just catastrophic club language and it really does nothing to help the debate and to bring about a sensible solution,” he said. “I think the use of the word emergency is ridiculous, I think it just really polarises the debate.”
Deputy Mayor Linda Scott, who proposed the lighting upgrade at the park after several women approached her, had helped increase lighting in several other parks on similar grounds.
She said women’s safety should be paramount. “We must light our parks and dark spaces, while being smarter about acting to address climate change,” she said.