Of all the levels of government it is at the local level that we are seeing the strongest leadership on the challenge of climate change. As the level of government that is closest to the people, it is clear that the community wants the increasingly pointless political debate put to one side and immediate steps taken towards a low carbon economy.
The City of Fremantle was officially recognised as a leader in sustainability when in 2015 it became the world’s second city to achieve international One Planet certification. As a One Planet Council, the City ensures that the ten One Planet principles of sustainability are embedded across the organisation. Our international One Planet accreditation is confirmation that the City’s efforts are not only effective at a local level but are recognised as being world best practice.
The City has been carbon neutral since 2009 and has a target to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2025. We are currently finalising a Corporate Energy Plan that will outline how the City should manage its energy consumption and production in order to reach our target. To date, carbon reduction initiatives have included solar PV installation on eight buildings; installation of a natural gas cogeneration system and a shallow geothermal heat pump at the Fremantle Leisure Centre; ongoing energy efficient lighting upgrades and the provision of electric vehicle charging points. The City has also entered into a working agreement with Epuron to investigate a solar farm concept for a former landfill site.
The City of Fremantle recognises the need for Local Governments to lead by example and the importance of knowledge sharing. Joining the Cities Power Partnership will give us the opportunity to share our success stories and collaborate with other Councils who are embarking on similar emissions reduction projects.