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Cool Communities Heads North

The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane is pleased to announce that it has been successful in being selected as one of two Queensland communities which will take part in the second round of the Australian Greenhouse Office’s Cool Communities project.

The Commission was one of twenty-two communities from around Australia which participated in the first round of Cool Communities last year.

Cool Communities aims to teach individual households how to change behaviour and lifestyle in their own homes to reduce the production of greenhouse gases which are causing the phenomena of global warming and climate change.

The 2003 project was carried out in partnership with Marymount College and Burleigh Heads Parish, along with Coolangatta/Tugun Parish on the Gold Coast. Over 150 households attended home energy workshops and implemented changes around their homes to reduce the use of electricity. The burning of fossil fuels such as coal in power stations is a major producer of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide which are believed to cause global warming. The Gold Coast households which participated in round 1 of Cool Communities are estimated to have saved an average of 1.4 tonnes of greenhouse gases per household per year, exceeding the project’s target of 1 tonne per year and easily surpassing the national average for all 22 communities of 0.7 tonnes per year.

The second round grant of $22500 will be used to spread the message of reducing greenhouse gases in Maryborough, Hervey Bay and in the South Burnett, in the north of the Archdiocese.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that the grant enables the Commission to help Catholics to take practical actions to care for the environment as part of their efforts to integrate their faith with their lives.

“Global warming is producing enormous difficulties for some of our neighbours in the Pacific because of rising sea levels,” Mr Arndt said.

“Our children and grandchildren will be presented with serious problems as they try to deal with more severe droughts, floods, storms and other climatic changes resulting from global warming,” he said.

“As Christians, we are called to protect the common good of all people now and into the future and this project is a very practical way to do something about a problem which will have serious consequences for many people,” he said.

The project is funded for the first half of 2004 and workshops will begin in late March.

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