SUNSHINE Coast Council has made a commitment to help fight climate change, as it joins a network of 70 Queensland councils in the Cities Power Partnership.
The council this week signed up to the partnership, pledging to take action on renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and collaboration to fight climate change.
In return the Cities Power Partnership, a Climate Council initiative, provides incentives for councils to deliver on their selected targets and to share their knowledge with other councils.
Members of the partnership have access to a national knowledge hub and an online analytical tool to measure energy, cost and emissions savings of projects.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said the initiative would help the council to take practical and effective steps to protect the environment while improving quality of life for residents.
“As well as aligning perfectly with our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region, the partnership program complements many priority actions under our recently endorsed Environment and Liveability Strategy 2017 – an integrated approach to achieving a healthy, sustainable and liveable community,” Cr Jamieson said.
He said it was a natural step for the council to take, after projects like the solar farm in Valdora.
“We are the first local government in Australia to offset 100 per cent of our electricity consumption with energy from a renewable source, thanks to our Sunshine Coast Solar Farm.
“Since its commission in July last year, the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm has generated more than 12,000 megawatts and it will conservatively deliver $22 million in savings, after all costs, for our ratepayers over the next 30 years.”
Participating councils receive visits from domestic and international experts, are connected with community energy groups, and are buddied together to share knowledge.
Ecologist and Climate Council member Lesley Hughes practical measures councils could take included increasing community engagement, installing charging stations for electric cars, and improving opportunities for residents to be more energy efficient.
“It’s really a win-win situation, and we really need action from all levels of government,” she said.