What are we asking for?
A Local Government Climate Response Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years to enable planning and preparation to minimise the impacts of climate change in our communities, and enable councils to achieve climate neutrality as soon as practicable.
Why is it important?
Climate change poses significant threats to our wellbeing, economy and to the natural environment.
The 2021 Australian Local Government Climate Review found that more than 70 percent of responding councils have set or are planning ambitious emissions reduction targets for their own operations, while 80 percent have set or are investigating emissions reduction targets across their entire community.
Another recent report indicated that if all the current targets set by local governments were met, Australia would be 96 percent of the way to meeting its current target of a 28 percent reduction by 2030.
Across our nation, councils are investing in new technologies, supporting local businesses to innovate and adapt, while creating new jobs in their communities. This includes introducing energy efficient LED streetlights, installing electric vehicle charging stations, using recycled road construction materials, and increasing tree canopy coverage.
Some councils are going even further, investing in renewable energy plants, and supporting local businesses and residents to reduce their emissions. These initiatives are scalable and could be replicated by other councils with sustainable funding support.
By supporting councils to reduce emissions at a local level, the Federal Government can deliver on its own emissions commitments, ensuring that no community is left behind as we transition to net zero.
How would it support our communities?
The City of Greater Geelong Council is working to drive down its carbon emissions by adding fully electric vehicles (EV) to its fleet.
Two electric Renault Kangoo ZE vans, with a range of more than 200km, are now being used by council’s amenity cleaners, with two more on order. The council has also ordered two electric commercial ride-on mowers.
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said the transformation to a zero-emission light vehicle fleet by 2027 was a key goal of the Council’s Draft Climate Change Response Plan.
“Powering our buildings, community facilities and vehicles is a huge contributor to the organisation’s carbon emissions,” she said.
“Together with the landmark new deal to source all of the organisation’s electricity needs from renewable energy, the switch to electric vehicles will help us achieve our ambitious reduction targets.”