Council eyes net zero emissions by 2035

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Zero net emissions in Greater Geelong by 2035 is a key feature of Council’s Climate Change Response Plan.

The plan, which will guide the organisation and the community’s response to climate change issues and impacts through to 2030, was adopted by Council this week.

The key target is supported by a range of principles that would see the region become a zero- emission, climate ready city, including:

  • A coordinated and collective response from the whole community;
  • Supporting an empowered and active community;
  • Increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy production; and
  • Switching to sustainable transport and cleaner fuels.

With a total of 80 actions, the plan is a roadmap for collaborative action, outlining how the Council can support an empowered community response.

The draft plan was released for public consultation during July and August, with 431 comments and 39 submissions received.

Key themes emerged in the feedback, with strong support for the plan’s targets and principles; increased Council leadership and advocacy; and increased investment and engagement.

It led to 70 individual updates being incorporated into the final plan.

Mayor Stephanie Asher said the feedback recognised that a target the scale of net zero by 2035 required more than just Council’s initiatives.

“There is a clear desire in the community for the Council to proactively lead widespread action in the region,” Mayor Asher said.

“We have set this as a stretch target on the basis of responses to the Climate Change Response Plan consultation process and our own Sustainability Advisory Committee.

“Our own ambitious commitments are just one part of the solution.

“We’ll advocate for funding and partnership opportunities with other levels of government and support the local community and business sectors to implement their own initiatives.

“Everyone has an active role to play, and this plan lays the blueprint for a co-ordinated, collective effort.”

Cr Belinda Moloney, Climate Change Action portfolio chair said the community and stakeholders provided insightful and clever feedback.

“A massive thanks to everyone who contributed to this plan,” Cr Moloney said.

“Council now needs to implement this plan with fervent vigour and lead the way towards zero emissions for our community and set an example for businesses.”

The plan notes the last corporate emission reduction target of 50 per cent by 2020 was met, through a range of notable projects.

These include the installation of more than one megawatt (MW) of solar PV across 27 facilities, and the ongoing conversion of 25,000-plus street lights to LED luminaires.

Council has also procured renewable energy for all buildings and street lights over the next decade, as part of the Victorian Energy Collaboration Project.

Page last updated: Thursday, 25 November 2021