This article originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph and Canterbury-Bankstown Express here.
Climate change is often thought of as a global issue — but councils across Australia are now trying to tackle the issue locally.
Spurred on by a Climate Council report that showed councils had the potential to cut energy emissions by 70 per cent, 35 councils have joined the Cities Power Partnership.
Canterbury-Bankstown Council is leading the solar-powered charge, taking the pledge to become climate champions last week.
It is one of only six councils in Sydney to take the pledge with other southwestern suburbs like Fairfield and Liverpool yet to sign up.
Councils that join the partnership will have six months to select five key actions, ranging from renewable energy, efficiency, transport and advocacy.
Canterbury-Bankstown Council administrator Richard Colley said the CPP will allow the council to take concrete steps to curb emissions and increase its renewable energy capacity.
“The partnership gives councils actionable, realistic and effective solutions and methods to encourage clean energy technology, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport at a local level,” he said.
“Our participation in the CPP means we can play our part tackling climate change in our own backyard.”
Climate Council chief councillor Professor Tim Flannery said the landmark initiative had the potential to transform Australia’s energy future from the ground up.
“We congratulate (councils) on rolling up their sleeves to become major drivers of positive climate and energy action,” Mr Flannery said.
Councils that have taken the pledge represent around three million Australians and 200 towns and cities.