A municipal-wide target of zero net emissions by 2035 is a key feature of the City’s Draft Climate Change Response Plan.
The draft plan, which will guide the City’s corporate response and the community’s response to climate change issues and impacts, was endorsed for release by Council last night.
The key target is supported by an action plan that addresses priority areas of community support, energy, transport, waste and climate resilience.
It lists a number of principles that would see the region become a zero- emission, climate ready city, including:
- A coordinated and collective response from the whole community;
- Supporting an empowered and active community;
- Increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy production; and
- Switching to sustainable transport and cleaner fuels.
With a total of 80 actions, the draft plan is a roadmap for collaborative action, outlining how the Council can support an empowered community response.
Councillor Belinda Moloney, Chair of the Climate Change Action portfolio, said climate change threatens every aspect of our lives.
“After heavy campaigning by constituents and protests around the world, I am glad that Council is taking action on what is a dire emergency situation of life-or-death consequences,” Cr Moloney said.
“Sustainable caretaking of our environment must be placed at the forefront of our decision-making, not because it is on trend or winning votes.
“Council and councillors have a duty of care to educate ourselves and our community as to how to correct our actions and do our part to avoid widescale catastrophic climate-related events.”
The draft plan notes the City successfully exceeded its last corporate emission reduction target of 50 per cent by 2020 and was well placed to assist community efforts.
Emissions have been falling for the past five years, following investments in renewable energy, capturing and using methane from landfill and major building efficiency improvements.
Notable projects include the installation of more than one megawatt (MW) of solar PV across 27 Council facilities.
All of Greater Geelong’s 25,000-plus street lights are being converted to LED luminaires, while Council is also procuring zero-emissions electricity for all operations over the next decade, as part of the Victorian Energy Collaboration Project.
The Draft Climate Change Response Plan has benefited from extensive public consultation, with community groups, business and peak body groups, government agencies and non-government organisations all providing input.