Solar panels on the roof at Leisurelink, Waurn Ponds.
Solar panels on the roof at Leisurelink, Waurn Ponds.

New initiatives to cut carbon

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Council has endorsed the Community Zero Carbon Action Plan, which will help work towards the City’s goal of Geelong being a carbon neutral city-region by 2047.

The development of the plan is a key initiative from the Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2017-2020, which sets a strong target of reducing the City’s operations based emissions by 50 per cent by 2020, based on 2014-15 levels.

In 2017 a stakeholder group was involved with a range of consultation activities and the following actions have been identified as having the potential for substantial impact:

  • Solar Savers will support pensioner households to install solar on their homes with no upfront costs.
  • Moving to LEDs for Council run street lighting will provide an estimated 52 per cent reduction in energy use.
  • Transition streets brings neighbours together to explore sustainability initiatives they can implement in their homes and local area.
  • Investigate and test models for redesigning a local energy system to rapidly embrace decarbonisation.
  • Drive delivery of higher quality, lower carbon multi-unit residential and commercial/industrial new buildings in Greater Geelong.

A number of actions will also be delivered by lead organisations as part of an important collective effort to reduce emissions across Greater Geelong, including the addition of new solar on council buildings, delivering a Solar Bulk Buy program and waste education programs.

Lead organisations to deliver actions include Transition Streets, Barwon Heads Sustainability Group, Sustainability Victoria, Geelong Sustainability and the City.

A community-wide greenhouse gas emissions profile for the Geelong region will be developed to ensure accurate tracking of our progress towards neutral carbon.

Mayor Bruce Harwood:

This plan supports our certification as a One Planet council and our community vision to be internationally recognised as a clever and creative city-region that is forward looking, enterprising and adaptive and cares for its people and environment.

Achieving neutral carbon is an aspirational plan for the City and collaboration and funding support from state and federal government will be essential to delivering this plan.

Cr Sarah Mansfield, Chair, Environment and Sustainability portfolio:

This plan represents an important goal for Council and the community as we work towards a neutral carbon future. The scale of the problem can be overwhelming, but it’s fantastic to see input into the plan from so many individuals, families, community groups, schools and businesses who are already working hard to reduce their emissions.

Achieving neutral carbon emissions requires a true community partnership to have significant impact. The projects in the plan make environmental sense and will also deliver financial benefits to the community.