What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability
Bellingen Shire was early to act on climate change with the development of the Bellingen Emissions Reduction Program and a regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in 2010. Both documents were guided by a risk assessment and outlined a range of actions that required organisation-wide commitment. A decade on, a diverse range of projects have been delivered including the installation of over 200kW of solar power capacity at sites with high electricity consumption, river rehabilitation programs at 36 sites and the allocation of dozens of grants for community groups to protect our environment and build community capacity.
What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy or broader sustainability
Bellingen Shire Council resolved to Declare a Climate Emergency in March 2019. The declaration acknowledged that Bellingen Shire is being affected by climate impacts, particularly increasing sea level rise, bushfires, heat waves, severe storms, drought and floods. As part of this declaration, Council prepared and adopted a Climate Emergency Response Framework and Corporate Carbon Plan with a target of zero net emissions by 2040.
Council continues to plan for the future by engaging with the community in the development of a Climate Adaptation Plan. This will guide actions to build resilience and mitigate the risks our changing climate poses to the environment, residents, industry and visitors of Bellingen Shire.
What council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership
The Cities Power Partnership provides an opportunity for Bellingen Shire Council to access support and information to ensure our actions reflect industry best practice. Council benefits from being part of a network that fosters connection between local governments with similar climate issues, so we can share resources, collaborate on regional projects and share our pledges in a public forum.