VICTORIAN COUNCILS TODAY CALLED on the State Government to commit to strong, ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, saying that they will provide certainty and security for local communities.
The group of mayors from Yarra City Council, City of Ballarat, Darebin City Council and Moreland City Council, are calling for Victoria to set interim emissions reduction target of 70% below 2005 levels by 2030 at the upcoming review of 2025 and 2030 targets for the state.
Belinda Coates, Deputy Mayor, Ballarat City Council said councils have already been leading the charge for 20 years and are ready to step up ambition to support the state.
“Councils can’t do it alone. This bold target would facilitate stronger local and state government emission reduction partnerships across a range of areas from transport and energy, to the built environment and agriculture.
“Small regional communities like Buninyong would benefit from reaching their net zero target more quickly through a partnered distribution of small scale renewable and storage projects,” she said.
CLIMATE TARGETS THAT COUNCILS ARE CALLING FOR
- 44% emissions reduction target below 2005 levels by 2025
- 70% emissions reduction target below 2005 levels by 2030
- 100% state-wide renewable energy target by 2030
The councils will meet with 9 other leading Victorian councils today at an event hosted by the Cities Power Partnership and Yarra City Council, to collaborate on ‘outside the box’ solutions to take their communities to net zero emissions.
Council leaders say that while local action on climate change is important, a state-led target is crucial to support their work on the climate crisis and will make it easier to move Victorian towns and cities rapidly towards zero emissions.
“Yarra was one of the first councils in the world to declare a climate emergency. This is the single greatest challenge of our time and it needs urgent action from every level of government, businesses and the community.
“Victoria is already a renewables advocate and leading on projects helping to reduce the upfront cost of rooftop solar for households. Strong targets in line with the science would stamp the state’s leadership on climate change,” said Cr Coleman, Mayor, Yarra City Council.
Cities Power Partnership Director David Craven said that local governments are ready to go with renewables but state support would see rapid acceleration.
“The event today underscored that councils are primed and ready to take their communities to net zero but without an interim emissions reduction target, it will be far more challenging and inefficient for them to get these projects underway,” he said.
“With a courageous state clean energy target that matches the climate science, Victoria could swiftly become a renewables leader.”
COUNCILS CALLING FOR STRONG CLIMATE TARGETS
Misha Coleman, Mayor, Yarra City Council
Belinda Coates, Deputy Mayor, City of Ballarat
Susan Rennie, Mayor, Darebin City Council
Lambros Tapinos, Mayor, Moreland City Council
*NOTE: The targets are consistent with the advice provided to the Victorian government in order to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures.
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