City of Ballarat has reaffirmed its commitment to building Ballarat’s profile as a green city. The Climate Council today announced Ballarat has joined the Cities Power Partnership, the largest local government climate change program in Australia.
The announcement comes as the Climate Council released a report today which highlights local councils are outstripping federal climate change action. City of Ballarat will make a pledge toward five climate actions as part of the partnership and commit to delivering them in a selected time frame. Council will be required to provide progress reports to the Climate Council every six months.
“Notable projects to reduce emissions include a potential waste-to-energy facility, and working through the smarter parking plan and cycling action plan.”
– Samantha McIntosh, City of Ballarat Mayor
City of Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said notable projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions included continued research into a potential waste to energy facility and working through the smarter parking plan and cycling action plan. She said council was advocating for local energy storage to support base load and peak demand periods and increasing the use of renewables.
“Council is currently developing a carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewables action plan that will encompass much more,” she said.
Cr McIntosh revealed methane capture currently in place at the Smythesdale Regional Landfill is set to expand in 2018-19. Councillor Ben Taylor said City of Ballarat had an ultimate goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions. “Analysis being conducted as part of the carbon neutrality and 100 per cent renewables action plan which is currently under development will define a 2025 target,” he said.
Hepburn Shire Council has also joined the Cities Power Partnership with a goal ahead of City of Ballarat. The council is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2021.
Chief Climate Councillor Professor Tim Flannery said local climate action was more important than ever as federal climate policy falls short. The Climate Council report titled Tackling Climate Change Together: Local Governments Lead the Charge revealed Australia will not meet its 26 to 28 per cent emissions reductions target under current policy settings. It said “transforming the way energy is used and generated in cities and towns worldwide has the potential to deliver 70 per cent of the total emissions reductions needed to stay on track for the two degree limit set under the Paris Agreement.”