Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

The Northern Midlands Council will officially join a nationwide program to fight climate change on Tuesday.

It will join 34 other councils from around Australia, including Brighton Council, to enter into the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership in a ceremony at Lismore, New South Wales.

Northern Midlands mayor David Downie said he was proud the council had joined the initiative.

“I believe that we should be looking to reduce our use of carbon fuels and we should be promoting renewable energy where we can,” Cr Downie said.

“Tasmania is probably leading Australia in terms of the percentage of power produced from renewable energy.

“All of a sudden there are a number of wind farms on the Tamar or in the process of being built, and if we can promote the generation of renewable power, right down to solar panel on houses, it has to help.”

The Cities Power Partnership sees councils choose five initiatives to reduce the municipality’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The council will have to nominate its five projects in the next six months and must report on its progress six months after outlining its proposal.

Officers from the Northern Midlands Council identified four examples of potential projects in October – installing solar panels on council-owned property, creating a public awareness campaign regarding energy efficiency, purchasing energy efficient plant and equipment, and encouraging energy efficient development through green planning scheme requirements.

Cr Downie said the council could not indicate what projects it will look to put forward.

Climate councillor and climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said local governments could play a large part in tackling climate change.

“We’re excited to see a record number of councils jumping on board with the Cities Power Partnership,” Professor Steffen said.

“As the tier of government that’s closest to the community, local councils have the power to genuinely transform the way we generate and use energy.

“It’s clear that Australians support climate action from their council, and we’re calling on all local governments to join the groundswell of climate action spreading across the country.”

The Cities Power Partnership was formed in July 2017 and includes 70 councils after the latest round of entrants.

Partners gain access to resources provided by the Climate Council to help them reach their goals.

Brisbane City Council, City of Sydney, City of Darwin and Canberra are also involved in the initiative.

This article first appeared in The Examiner on 30 January 2018