Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

18 NOVEMBER 2021

MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE took out top honours for its ambitious Climate Emergency Plan at the Cities Power Partnership Awards last night.

The Cities Power Partnership Awards recognise the work of climate heroes in local governments across the country who are transforming Australia’s energy landscape.

Mornington’s Climate Emergency Plan, which guides the Peninsula towards zero community carbon emissions by 2040, is this year’s Ambition award winner.

The Ambition award recognises councils that have bold, detailed plans for their climate change mitigation actions.

Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO, John Baker said he was delighted for the council’s plan to be recognised in this year’s awards.

“Our Climate Emergency Plan really sets the tone for our entire organisation and community to drive climate change action.  After only one year of the plan being adopted, we’ve already seen an acceleration of climate action on the Mornington Peninsula, highlighted by the establishment of a community energy group, 22ha of bio links being created, the Shire achieving Carbon Neutral Certification, the launch of our Climate Action Grant program, an expanded Schools Environmental Education Program and the Solar and energy bulk buy program.”

Cities Power Partnership director, Dr Portia Odell congratulated the Mornington Peninsula Shire, noting that the winning entry was a shining example of ambition in a competitive field of entrants.

“A strong, ambitious plan is essential to ensuring steep carbon emission for councils. Mornington Peninsula’s Climate Emergency Plan boasts an ambitious science-based target for corporate and community emissions and outlines clear, ambitious actions that council will take to achieve its goals. It’s a great example of a plan that is forward thinking, aligned with the science and outcome-focussed” Dr Odell said.

“The local climate solutions on display at these awards are tangible proof that Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change and play a critical role delivering climate solutions in Australia,” said Dr Odell.

“The best part is that when one council finds a solution, many more can follow. As we see through innovative renewable energy deals or novel ways to help the community transition to net zero emissions, this sector is leading the way with practical local climate solutions.”

The Cities Power Partnership Awards celebrated outstanding work from local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, community engagement and innovation as well as individual climate champion awards.


Renewable Energy Achievement Award
Northern Beaches Council, NSW – Northern Beaches Goes Renewable

Energy Efficiency Achievement Award
Georges River Council, NSW – Working towards net zero emissions

Sustainable Transport Achievement Award
Winner: ACT Government, ACT – Zero Emissions Fleet Transition

Community Engagement Achievement Award
City of Adelaide, SA – Sustainability Incentives Scheme Enabling Community Emissions Outcomes

Innovation Award
Greater Dandenong City Council, VIC – Net zero emissions in Council infrastructure and assets bids

Ambition Award
Mornington Peninsula Shire, VIC – Climate Emergency Plan “Ensuring our Future”

Collaboration Award
Darebin City Council, VIC – Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO)

Climate Ambassador Award (elected representative)
Shoalhaven City Council, NSW – Mayor Amanda Findley

Climate Champion Award (council staff)
Cairns Regional Council Sustainability Team, QLD
Highly Commended: Hunter Joint Organisation, NSW

Community Choice Award
Borough of Queenscliffe, VIC – Community-led climate emergency response plan



The Cities Power Partnership awards recognise councils demonstrating climate mitigation action across the listed 37 action pledge items under the Cities Power Partnership. Each of the 9 categories were judged to ensure their respective criteria were met.


  • Damon Gameau, Film director, author and presenter
  • Dr Amanda Cahill, CEO, Next Economy
  • Dr Simon Bradshaw, Head of Research, Climate Council
  • Pam Townshend, Former Shire President, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Western Australia