The City of Subiaco has become the first certified carbon neutral local government in Western Australia under the Commonwealth’s Climate Active program.
The City has always considered emission reduction through its operations with the installation of solar panels and energy efficient systems, increase efficiencies in water use and waste, and improvements in fleet procurement with the introduction of electric and hybrid vehicles.
With direction from the Strategic Community Plan and through its Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan 2020-2030, the City has now committed to ambitious targets in pursuit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its operations. Targets include:
- obtain and maintain certified carbon neutral status
- 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025
- energy consumption reduced by 20 per cent by 2025
- fleet vehicles meet Climate Change Authority’s standard by 2025
- reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent by 2030.
Mayor Penny Taylor said this was a huge milestone for the City and it was great to be leading the sector in taking action to address climate change.
“The City of Subiaco is committed to sustainability and recognises that urgent action is needed to halt the worst effects of climate change which is why we’ve set ambitious targets to reduce our emissions and our effect on the environment,” she said.
“We’ve been working towards this milestone for some time now so it’s great to be able to say we’re a certified carbon neutral organisation – the first in WA under the Climate Active program.”
As well as reducing operational emissions, the City has purchased offsets from carefully considered projects to achieve carbon neutral status. These are:
- The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor, Western Australia: a native reforestation project located with a number of environmental, economic and social benefits, such as increasing water and soil quality, creation of employment opportunities and skills development, and protection of indigenous cultural heritage sites.
- Aboriginal Savanna Burning, Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory: a carbon farming and fire management project that prevents destructive bushfires and keeps the land healthy for locals. It enables Elders to pass down traditional ecological knowledge, protects sacred sites, and creates meaningful employment that aligns with the interests and values of the Traditional Owners.
- Wind power based electricity generation, India: a renewable electricity project that harnesses wind power and feeds it into the local grid in Gujarat to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts. This project also aims to encourage commercialisation of wind power generation in the region and contribute to sustainable development of the region by helping to alleviate poverty and improve infrastructure such as roads and the grid frequency for locals.
In addition to becoming carbon neutral, the City has implemented a number of initiatives to minimise its impact on the environment over the years, including becoming a Waterwise Council, committing to an urban forest strategy, collecting food organics waste from local businesses and organisation, and moving to steam weeding.
Carbon neutral certification is voluntary but the City will continue to maintain this status each year going forward.
This certification applies to the 2019-20 financial year.