Banyule City Council Seeking Feedback On Carbon Neutral Goal

Banyule Council carbon neutrality

Victoria’s Banyule City Council aims to achieve carbon neutrality in relation to its own operations by 2028 and has released a draft plan outlining steps towards achieving the goal.

The Banyule City Council local government area (LGA) is situated in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne and is home to more than 121,000. Among its suburbs are Ivanhoe, Montmorency and Viewbank.

Council has had its eye on carbon neutrality for some time – its Energy Saving Plan 2014-2017 noted a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2019/20 for Council operations; which was perhaps a little over-ambitious. It is now aiming for carbon neutrality by 2028 in terms of emissions within its direct control; and without the use of offsets.

A draft plan released on Monday for comment notes 9 priority actions; among them:

  • Reducing energy use in buildings by upgrading insulation, air conditioning, lighting and appliances, plus installing solar hot water systems.
  • Working towards replacing Council’s entire light and heavy vehicle fleet with electric or other zero emissions vehicles.
  • Pursuing renewable energy generation, including solar energy and wind power. This will either be through Council-owned installations or power purchasing agreements (PPAs).

Council has already installed solar panels on a number of buildings it owns or leases, but I wasn’t able to find a list of installations or total solar power capacity. Its capital works program for the 2017/18 financial year noted $100,000 earmarked for solar panels on council buildings, community halls, sports pavilions and child care centres. A separate entry notes solar panels for Ivanhoe Aquatic Centre.

In terms of the total amount solar installed in the LGA, APVI indicates it was approximately 23.2MW as at June 30 this year. 18.3MW of that was small-scale solar (<10kW systems).

Banyule City Council is inviting feedback on its draft plan, which needs to be submitted by November 8, 2019.

Banyule Declares Climate Emergency

In other recent news from the LGA, Banyule Council declared a climate emergency at its meeting last week.

“Banyule Council is proud to join with the Climate Emergency movement and will continue to act to ensure a safe and sustainable world now, and in the future,” said Banyule Mayor Cr Wayne Phillips.

At the time of publishing, 62 councils across Australia had declared climate emergencies, covering a quarter of Australia’s population. The pace of declarations has picked up dramatically – back in August the number was 34.

On a related note, what is claimed to be the biggest parliamentary e-petition in Australian history closes just before midnight tonight – and it’s a call for the House of Representatives to declare a climate emergency. At the time of publishing, 352,763 Australians had signed the petition.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. “Banyule Council is proud to join with the Climate Emergency movement and will continue to act to ensure a safe and sustainable world now, and in the future,” said Banyule Mayor Cr Wayne Phillips.

    Pure virtue signalling – meaningless.

    Do you want to do something, Wayne?
    – Turn off the heating and air-con in council offices (at the very least in the council chamber)
    – Turn off the street lamps

    That would be a start, to show you’re serious not just posturing.

    • Ronald Brakels says

      Every kilowatt-hour of AC electricity generated by this rooftop solar system will reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 1 kilogram. While it’s true they could further reduce emissions by turning off the air conditioning and lights, they probably don’t want to.

    • OldFogey, I don’t agree that what Banyule Council is proposing is “Pure virtue signalling – meaningless”. They actually have an action plan! Clearly, they have to announce what they’re doing and summaries the vision they are undertaking.

      In the “Actions for zero net emissions 2020-2023 plan for a carbon neutral Banyule Council by 2028 document”: https://shaping.banyule.vic.gov.au/CorpEmissionsReduction, it is clearly stated:

      OUR PLAN IN A NUTSHELL
       Why: to play our part in solving the climate crisis
       What: reduce emissions arising from Council operations
       How: through a culture of innovation, collaboration and support
      6 | P a g e
       When: 2020-2023 actions that position Council for zero emissions by 2028
       Who: Everyone in Council, helped by our collaborators in the Banyule community and other councils.

      🙂

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