Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

City of Melbourne's climate and sustainability commitments

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

  • Traditional Owners Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung Peoples
  • Member since 2020
  • Population 169,860
Awards 2020
WINNER - Renewable Energy Achievement Award

Our journey

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

City of Melbourne has a strong record of reducing emissions and restoring and conserving biodiversity. We have:

  • been certified carbon neutral for our operations every year since 2012
  • cut emissions from our council operations by 53 per cent since 2013
  • purchased 100 per cent renewable energy through the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project
  • switched our major events such as Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Music Week and Melbourne Knowledge Week to be certified carbon neutral
  • planted 3000 trees a year to grow our urban forest, with over 22,000 trees planted since 2012
  • invested $40 million in stormwater harvesting and water sensitive design, capturing and reusing around 180,000 kilolitres of water per year
  • invested $17.1 million of Clean Energy Finance Corporation funds in energy efficiency and renewable energy, including 2244 solar panels installed and 11,816 street lights
  • increased biodiversity with 16,000 m2 of new understorey vegetation planted in Melbourne since 2018, providing habitat for our wildlife
  • greened the city and increased permeability by over 3500 m2 through park expansion and streetscapes projects
  • accelerated waste avoidance and resource recovery through centralised garbage and recycling hubs across the city

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

To support our climate and biodiversity emergency declaration, we have committed to reaching Council’s zero emissions target for the municipality 10 years earlier, by 2040. In order to do this we have identified 10 priorities for accelerated action, based on the areas we can make the most impact.

  • Transition council operations from fossil fuels
  • Fast track the delivery of 44km of protected bike lanes in four years
  • Stimulate circular economy solutions for waste
  • Embed climate change and biodiversity action into everything we do
  • Mandate greening and zero emissions buildings through the Planning Scheme
  • Accelerate renewable energy purchasing by businesses and residents
  • Investigate providing rates incentives fro energy efficient buildings
  • Build a business coalition to advance the clean and circular economy
  • Tell Melbourne’s climate change and biodiversity story; what does climate change mean for our city?
  • Undertake bold advocacy on behalf of our community

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

The City of Melbourne believes in the power of coming together. We realise the climate emergency we are facing requires urgent and collective action. Together with our colleagues in the Cities Power Partnership we can lead and inspire ambitious and rapid climate change action among our residents, community organisations, businesses, investors and all levels of government in Australia and around the world.


Council has committed to the following Cities Power Partnership pledges:

Renewable energy
Power council operations by renewable energy, and set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.
Facilitate large energy users collectively tendering and purchasing renewable energy at a low cost.
Energy Efficiency
Set minimum energy efficiency benchmarks for all planning applications.
Work Together and Influence
Lobby state and federal government to address barriers to the take up of renewable energy, energy efficiency and/or sustainable transport.
Develop procurement policy to ensure that the practices of contractors and financers align with council’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport goals.

In the news

Media Release

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24 Mar 2022
Thirty-one mayors and councillors from some of the most flood damaged regions have called on the government to do more to protect communities.

Net Zero: How are Australian councils playing their part?

20 Dec 2021
Find out what ‘net zero’ means, why it matters and which Aussie local governments are leading the charge.
Media Release

Seventeen councils join nationwide call for ambitious Federal Government targets ahead of UN climate summit

13 Oct 2021
Councils have called on the Federal Government to commit to strong, unified action on climate change, ahead of COP26.

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