Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

Cairns Regional Council's climate and sustainability commitments

Cairns Regional Council is part of the Cities Power Partnership, Australia's largest network of councils leading the way to a sustainable future

  • Traditional Owners Djabugay, Yirriganydji, Bulawai, Gimuy Walubara Yidinji, Mandingalbay Yidinji, Gunggandji, Dulabed and Malanbara Yidinji, Wanyurr Majay, Mamu and NgadjonJii Peoples
  • Member since 2017
  • Population 168,853
Feature_icon_1 / Renewable energy


renewable energy for council by 2030

Feature_icon_2 / Solar Energy


renewable energy for community by 2030

feature_icon_3 / CO2 Emissions

Net Zero

council emissions by 2030

Our journey

What council has achieved in the past in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

As a tropical city with some of the world’s most recognised natural wonders at its doorstep, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest, Cairns Regional Council has long taken climate stewardship in its stride. We’ve has a 50 % greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 20/21 in place since 2010. Our progress has been assisted by investment in over 1MW of rooftop solar PV, landfill gas flaring, LED street lighting upgrades, fleet optimisation and energy management efforts in our facilities and water, sewerage operations. We have encouraged sustainability in the community with grant funding and our annual flagship sustainability festival – the Cairns Ecofiesta, attracting an estimated 13,000 attendees. Recently we have sought feedback from the community on responding to a changing climate by holding a youth climate summit and specifically on adapting to coastal hazards.

What council hopes to achieve in the future in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport or broader sustainability

Next, we will continue to build on the savings from rooftop solar PV, with the installation of an additional 1.8MW of ground mount solar at our wastewater treatment plants. We are developing a renewed climate action plan that addresses emerging challenges and are investigating new targets for 2030 that make the most renewable energy opportunities. We’ll be seeking input from the community on this and continuing to cultivate sustainability with vibrant events, education, grant funding and by expanding our cycling network.

What council hopes to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership

Cairns Regional Council is delighted to join with local governments across Australia in the Cities Power Partnership. We look forward to the knowledge sharing it facilitates which will assist further in lowering emissions in our operations and region.


Council has committed to the following Cities Power Partnership pledges:

Energy Efficiency
Roll out energy efficient lighting across the municipality.
Sustainable Transport
Ensure Council fleet purchases meet strict greenhouse gas emissions requirements and support the uptake of electric vehicles.
Ensure that new developments are designed to maximize public and active transport use, and support electric vehicle uptake.
Support cycling through provision of adequate cycle lanes, bike parking and end-of-ride facilities.
Work Together and Influence
Develop education and behaviour-change programs to support local residents and businesses to tackle climate change through clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport.

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Case study

Cairns Council is creating a more sustainable community

08 Feb 2022
Find out how Cairns Regional Council is creating initiatives to cut local emissions and educate the community on climate change.

2021 Climate Awards Photo Gallery

30 Nov 2021
View the highlights from Cities Power Partnership's 2021 Climate Awards.

Join now and be part of the groundswell of local governments and communities across Australia tackling climate change.