Shellharbour Takes Another Step Towards Net Zero

Council endorses draft policy & strategy for public exhibition

Shellharbour City Council last night unanimously endorsed its Draft Climate & Sustainability Policy and Draft Zero Emissions Shellharbour Strategy for public exhibition.

The draft documents apply to all Council strategic and operational activities and would be implemented across all Council functions.

The objectives support intergenerational equity and embed sustainability principles into all business decision-making.

Council’s draft Zero Emissions Shellharbour Strategy sets the objectives of the Zero Emissions Shellharbour program and a pathway forward to achieve its emissions reduction targets.

The Zero Emission Strategy also includes a series of interim goals that will allow Council to measure its progress against targets.

Shellharbour Mayor Chris Homer said that the Draft Climate & Sustainability Policy and Draft Zero Emissions Shellharbour Strategy were a significant step in the right direction to support intergenerational equity for the community.

“I’m extremely proud that our Council has taken this strategic move to tackle the very real issue of climate change,” Mayor Homer said.

“Since Council’s resolution in December 2020 to set a target of Net Zero for 2050, staff have done a lot of work determining the organisation’s operational emissions boundary and getting a better understanding of how Council is placed in regard to meeting this target.

“Through the development of the draft Climate and Sustainability Policy and Zero Emission Shellharbour Strategy, we identified some intermediate milestones we could achieve as an organisation ahead of 2050. This resulted in Council’s decision to have three separate targets,” he said.

These targets are:

1. Net zero emissions for Council operations by 2035

2. Net zero emissions for the Shellharbour community by 2050

3. Council purchases 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025

Mayor Homer said that the focus of the broader community transition to a net zero city by 2050 would involve engaging with, empowering and supporting residents, visitors and local businesses.

“Council has a limited amount of control and influence over many community emissions sources including residential and commercial buildings and on-road transportation,” he said.

“Council has influence over what we do as an organisation, but will assume a facilitator role in supporting the community to reach its net zero target, bringing stakeholders together and advocating for change across all levels of government.

“We need a cross-sectoral approach involving residents, business and other levels of government. We want to bring the community on this journey with us so that together, we can prepare for a low carbon future,” Mayor Homer said.

The Draft Climate & Sustainability Policy and Draft Zero Emissions Shellharbour Strategy will be on public exhibition from 7 July to 3 August 2022.

The documents will be available on Council’s Let’s Chat page: https://letschatshellharbour.com/

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