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Council outlines plan towards zero emissions

The Climate Change Forum in 2019 helped to inform Council's Roadmap to Climate Neutrality.

Mount Alexander Shire Council has adopted a comprehensive plan that outlines its path to achieve zero net emissions for Council operations by 2025.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council has adopted a comprehensive plan that outlines its path to achieve zero net emissions for Council operations by 2025.

“The roadmap includes interim targets and the development of detailed work plans to improve our environmental performance across a range of areas such as buildings, transport, lighting, waste management and procurement,” said Christine Henderson, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire.

“It acknowledges our work to date to reduce carbon emissions and how we can continue to build on these achievements,” said Mayor Henderson.

“We are one of 48 Victorian councils who have formed Australia’s largest renewable energy buying groups, and intend to switch to 100% renewables from December 2021.

“By signing up to this program we will reduce our total annual emissions by 29% in 2022.

“We are proud to be leading the way with other Victorian councils who are showing what can be achieved at the local government level,” she said.

Over the last few years Council has replaced almost 900 street lights with low energy LED lights, installed solar panels on many of its buildings and delivered a range of community waste education programs. It has also recently purchased hybrid vehicles for the Parks and Gardens Teams.

“The roadmap includes further ideas to continue this work, such as upgrading more streetlights to LED, transitioning Council’s fleet to electric vehicles and improving the energy efficiency of Council buildings,” she said.

Many actions outlined in the roadmap have a dual benefit of not only reducing emissions, but also delivering considerable cost savings to Council.

“Saving Council money on energy and operating costs is something that everyone supports,” said Mayor Henderson.

The roadmap outlines ten guiding principles, which include leadership, local collaboration, transparency, greener procurement and cost effectiveness. Council will report on progress annually.

The Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality was developed as a commitment in Council’s Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020. Council will deliver a new climate strategy in 2021, which will provide the framework for action on climate change both within Council operations and in partnership with the community.

“It was clear during the Climate Change Forum in 2019 that there are many people in our shire who are passionate about taking action against climate change,” said Mayor Henderson.

“The Council Roadmap will rely on working hand-in-hand with our community and identifying the best ways that we can all collectively reduce emissions,” she said.

Council and Mount Alexander Sustainability Group will soon launch an online engagement tool as part of the Z-NET Community Transition Plan. The project aims to co-design a masterplan with the community to reduce carbon emissions in the shire to zero and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The online platform will provide a central forum for everyone to share ideas on making real changes in our community.

Find out more at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/EnvironmentalProjects.

Image: The Climate Change Forum in 2019 helped to inform Council's Roadmap to Climate Neutrality.



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