Australian councils are more now more active than ever in delivering climate action, with many also increased their emissions reduction targets.
In its Australian Local Government Climate Review 2021 issued this week, ICLEI Oceania – Local Governments for Sustainability, said 100 Australian councils have now declared a climate emergency, joining 1800 others around the world.
Thirty-one local governments are signatories of the Global Covenant of Mayors, joining a global network of 10,500 local governments working to reduce emissions at the local level.
The review’s introduction noted that “a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities and appetite for change has brought a more sophisticated approach to program delivery and ambition.
“[This is] perhaps best demonstrated by the proliferation of climate emergency declarations, community-wide net-zero targets, and Zero Carbon Communities.
“Local councils are well placed to drive and influence action on climate change,” the review said.
“This includes through the services they deliver, their regulatory and strategic functions, and their roles as community leaders, major employers, and large-scale procurers.”
“Local authorities are directly accountable to their constituents for their decisions and can often be better placed to take swift action compared to national officials.”
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with ICLEI Oceania to work together on providing more information and tools available to local governments.
As part of its federal election strategy, ALGA is seeking a local government climate response partnership fund of $200 million over four years to enable councils and local communities to better plan for and prepare for climate change impacts.