Monash Council has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2025 as part of a raft of strategies to tackle climate change.
Council made this commitment at its February 2020 meeting. A further report for a whole of Council climate action plan will come before the September 2020 Council meeting.
Council will also work with the Monash community to provide assistance and information on how they can reduce their carbon footprint.
Mayor Stuart James said these actions are part of Council’s long-term consideration of climate change and its focus on determining a strong and comprehensive response to this issue.
“It comes after a significant amount of work on GHG emission modelling by Council and is in line with Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy (2016-2026),” Cr James said.
“The modeling indicated that 2028 was the optimum time to target carbon neutrality, but Council has decided to be more ambitious and has adopted a target of 2025.”.
“This will require funding for key projects over the next few years however these changes are expected, in the long term, to result in both significant financial and environmental savings.”
Council will prioritise funding for key projects to reduce corporate emissions that also represent an attractive return on investment to the Long Term Financial Plan to achieve the 2025 target.
Key projects identified include:
- Participating in the Local Government Power Purchase Agreement for up to 100% renewable energy for all electricity use
- Major roads street lighting changeover to LED lights
- Major infrastructure upgrades of high energy usage sites, including our aquatic centres, to reduce energy use
- Investment in solar panels at key sites
- Expanding the use of electric and hybrid vehicles in Council’s fleet
- Investment in Carbon Offset sourced from local businesses
- Increase the use of recycled content materials in council projects
- The purchase of carbon offsets, when required, from businesses located within the City of Monash, wherever possible
- A commitment to protecting and enhancing our green spaces and tree canopy.
“It is worth noting that Council’s corporate emissions represent approximately 1% of local emissions so if we as a community are serious about reducing our carbon footprint, it is critical that our residents join our campaign so we can achieve zero net community emissions as soon as possible,” Cr James said.
“We are working with Monash University on how we can best undertake this work and will be providing that guidance to our residents.”
Other initiatives already underway by Council includes are Solar Savers and Environmental Upgrade Agreements, strengthening of our planning controls, the introduction of a food organics in the green bin program starting in July to divert food waste from landfill and our Green Shoots community program to increase awareness of our biodiversity and share the importance of trees to our environment and the health of the community.
Council will also accept an invitation from Monash University to be an advisory member of the Australian Research Corporation Linkage Project for Net Zero Precinct Transitions.