19 July 2017

35 Australian local governments pledge to reduce emissions

Thirty-five Australian local councils have now committed to develop green and climate-resilient communities, switching to renewables and building green transport infrastructure

The Climate Council recently launched the Cities Power Partnership to encourage cities to reduce their GHG emissions and increase their resilience, alongside with a report outlining the opportunities for Australians cities, and demonstrating that local climate action could significantly help achieving the necessary 70 per cent emissions reductions to limit global warming.

As part of the new initiative, the thirty-five councils – which serve three millions Australians – have announced their new pledge, including councils from Canberra, Alice Springs, Newcastle, North Sydney, Kur-ring-gai and Penrith.

Amanda McKenzie, Chief Executive of the Climate Council, said: “Cities and towns are leading the way in Australia with many putting the federal government to shame. This follows the US example where 250 mayors have committed to the Paris agreement in spite of the Trump withdrawal.”

As part of the pledge, the councils will choose five specific actions ranging from energy-efficient street lighting, setting minimum energy-efficiency benchmarks for planning applications, ensuring new developments maximise public transport use, and setting renewable energy or emissions-reduction targets, and will report on their progress after six months.

Lesley Hughes, Climate Council councillor and scientist, said: “Ultimately, the [Cities Power Partnership] is designed to help local communities sidestep the political roadblocks at national level, and just get on with the job of implementing climate policies.”

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