Net zero emissions is already being achieved at “cafes, dinner parties and wine bars” and by local government in the nation’s inner cities.
We as Lord Mayors of the City of Hobart and the City of Newcastle, and leaders in the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy Oceania, are heartened by the Prime Minister’s announcement of the government’s intention to achieve Net Zero Emissions.
However we are concerned that the Prime Minister appears to be dismissive of the importance of cities and their communities in tackling emission reductions.
Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world. It is estimated that 82% of our population live in cities (Statista 2019).
City governments have already set ambitious climate change targets, both for emissions reductions and adaptation – well ahead of the Australian Government’s targets.
Nations that are achieving deep cuts in emissions are those that are working closely with their cities. We call on the Prime Minister to work with Mayors to design a national cities emission reduction program as this is the key to achieving a zero carbon target.
While the Australian Government has had no climate policy, cities have been stepping into the breach, most Local Authorities are already working with their communities to reduce emissions. And many have joined international climate movements such as the Global Covenant of Mayors.
Internationally more than 10,000 cities are part of the Global Covenant movement, many of them partnering with their national governments to achieve Paris targets, and we would welcome the PM agreeing to work similarly with the local government sector in Australia, including inner city councils.
Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds, City of Hobart, GCoM Board – for