Council to target zero net emissions by 2030 in adopted plan
Last updated on 15 December 2022
A new plan will empower Council to reduce its carbon footprint through a series of tangible initiatives across Council-managed facilities and operations.
The plan – titled Counting Down to Zero – targets zero net emissions by 30 June 2030, outlining more than 30 recommended actions for Council to reduce, avoid or offset its existing emissions while also influencing key stakeholders to do the same.
These actions include phasing out the use of gas in favour of more efficient energy sources, embedding sustainable initiatives into the design and construction of projects, and replacing redundant Council passenger vehicles with electric alternatives.
Mayor Annette Death said adopting this plan meant that Council joined many governments, organisations and businesses across the country in committing to address climate change in an accountable way.
“Climate change is not something we can wait to react to – we have to continue taking steps to reduce our emissions,” she said.
“This is a clear plan for the next decade that steps out a number of realistic, meaningful actions Council can take, to build on the progress we’ve already made in this area.”
The zero net emissions target will be measured against the indicative baseline of 3,260.6 tonnes CO2-e at 30 June 2022 – a figure already significantly reduced by Council over the past year, in large part due to a renewable energy contract secured through the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO).
VECO, an agreement involving close to 50 councils across Victoria procuring electricity from renewable energy generators, has resulted in a collective saving of around 172,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in its first year – equivalent to taking 66,000 cars off the road each year.
Counting Down to Zero was adopted unanimously by councillors at last night’s Scheduled Council Meeting and the plan will be reviewed every two years until 2030 to ensure it remains valid. Progress on the targets will be reported annually.
Council’s adoption of the plan comes after it officially recognised the urgency to address climate change by stating a Declaration of Climate Emergency at its meeting on 24 March 2021.