Climate Council launches program to support local councils

The Climate Council has released a report that highlights the contributions to climate action that can be made by local councils and their communities, and introduces the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership program which recognises and supports councils and communities that are switching to renewable energy and building greener, more efficient and resilient communities.

The report, Local Leadership: Tracking Local Government Progress on Climate Change, finds that:

  • Australian cities, towns and shires are at risk from worsening climate impacts, such as rising sea levels, floods, bushfires and extreme heatwaves.

  • Australian cities, towns and shires are major drivers of pollution, but can also be critical hubs for climate change solutions.

  • Australian councils and communities are leading State and Federal governments on tackling climate change and capitalising on opportunities in renewable energy.

The report found that one in five councils surveyed across Australia are aiming for "100% renewable energy” or “zero emissions”. Examples include capital cities like Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney as well as smaller councils such as Byron Shire, Lismore, Yackandandah and Uralla Shire.

Examples of locally-led renewable energy projects include the Sunshine Coast Council’s 15MW solar farm (ABC 2016a), Lismore’s community owned and council operated solar farms (Farming the Sun 2017), Canberra’s reverse auction approach for sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewables (Climate Council 2016), and Melbourne City Council’s renewable energy project (City of Melbourne 2017b) .

The Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership (CPP) program will provide incentives for councils to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency, improve transport sustainability and work together.

Members of the partnership will have access to a national knowledge hub and an online analytics tool to measure energy, cost and emissions savings of projects; be buddied with other councils to share knowledge; receive visits from domestic and international experts; be connected to community energy groups; and be celebrated at events with other local leaders.

The report is available here.

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