Creating a sustainable Wollongong by 2050

We know that climate change and the long-term sustainability of our city are important issues for community members.

This week Council has adopted the Sustainable Wollongong 2030: A Climate Healthy City Strategy and the Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2020 to guide delivery actions and provide high-level strategic direction for the future.

“Our community has told us that they want to see Wollongong take a leadership role when it comes to climate change,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“We know that renewable energy sources, sustainable transport options, planting more trees and reducing waste to landfill are some of the key areas of improvement that our community are passionate about.”

As a city, we are committed to creating a sustainable and climate resilient city that is capable and able to meet the challenges of climate change. We carried out extensive community engagement with residents and key stakeholders to inform both documents.

In 2017, Wollongong City Council became a signatory to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy — an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change.

Two years later, we adopted targets of net zero emissions by 2050 for the City of Wollongong and net zero emissions by 2030 for Council operations. Earlier this year, Council also committed to five pledges under the Australian initiative, Cities Power Partnership.

Now we’re taking the next steps towards a sustainable Wollongong with the adoption of two strategic documents; Sustainable Wollongong 2030: A Climate Healthy City Strategy and the Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2020.

The Sustainable Wollongong 2030: A Climate Healthy City Strategy provides a high-level strategic direction for Council’s future activities and programs. This strategy builds upon the work of the superseded Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2014-2022.

The Strategy outlines six of Council’s priority areas for action including:

  • A City whose council shows leadership
  • A city that works together
  • A low emissions city
  • A city in harmony with our environment
  • A low waste city
  • A climate and water resilient city

The Sustainable Wollongong 2030: A Climate Healthy City Strategy will be reviewed on a four-year cycle with a major review to be undertaken in 2030.

The Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2020 will guide Council’s delivery actions for the next two years in working towards the emissions targets. This initial plan aims to provide a strong foundation for future activities and plans.

During exhibition earlier this year, we received 155 community submissions. We’ve since incorporated this feedback into the final version of the Plan, with seven new actions addressing issues such as:

  • Engaging businesses
  • Advocating for green industries to relocate to the region
  • Enhancement of energy efficiency programs
  • Education for Council facilities and managers

“Wollongong is a beautiful City, but our past actions haven’t always been positive for our natural environment. Our vision is to transform Wollongong into a thriving, low waste, low emissions city that lives in harmony with its environment,” said Cr Bradbery.

“Creating a healthy and sustainable future is a job for everyone. There’s still a lot of work to go before we achieve our vision of a sustainable Wollongong, but with our community’s continued support, we will move forward to creating a climate resilient city.”

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