Glen Eira City Council Commits To Net Zero Emissions Targets

City of Glen Eira carbon emissions reduction

Melbourne’s Glen Eira City Council has committed to corporate zero net emissions by 2025 and zero net community emissions by 2030.

At a meeting last Tuesday Council also declared a climate emergency, making it the 96th local government in Australia to do so.

According to ClimateEmergencyDeclaration.org, more than 8.6 million Australians live in an area where local council has declared an emergency – around 34% of the country’s population. Declarations can vary jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the common theme is the recognition of the serious threats posed by climate change. Some declarations include commitments for action at a local level as well as demanding greater action at a state and federal level.

It seems there was strong support from the community for a climate emergency declaration, with thousands of residents signing related petitions. The motions for the declaration and the new targets were carried unanimously in last week’s meeting.

The Mayor says Council will start working on a more ambitious Environmental Sustainability Strategy to guide it towards the targets.

“Council will now build on the great progress it has already made to reduce carbon emissions from our own operations,” said Glen Eira Mayor Cr Margaret Esakoff.

Solar Power In Glen Eira

The City of Glen Eira is a local government area located in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Its estimated population is around 156,000 and among its suburbs are Carnegie, Ormond and Bentleigh East.

In 2018-19, Council’s corporate carbon footprint was 9,287 tonnes – a significant reduction from ~12,000 tonnes in 2014; made more impressive by the fact the City’s population is growing.  Council achieved  its interim target of a 25 per cent reduction from baseline levels one year early.

Council is no stranger to PV as an emissions reduction strategy, with solar panels installed on 31 of its buildings. These solar power systems have a total capacity of 793 kilowatts; enough capacity to generate an estimated 1.1 gigawatt- hours of electricity a year.

Additionally, in 2019-20 Council purchased 1.9 million kilowatt- hours of GreenPower. Glen Eira City Council is also part of a local government power purchase agreement (PPA) arrangement where the balance Council’s electricity is to be purchased from renewable sources from 2021.

In the wider community, there were approximately 4,625 PV installations below 100kW capacity in the local government area, and one larger (230kW) as at the end of September last year. The Australia Photovoltaic Institute’s estimate for the proportion of dwellings with solar panels installed at that time was 9.7%, against a state average of 17.9%. Part of the reason of for the lower uptake of solar power is likely due to dwelling type. According to .id Community, 50% of the dwellings in the City are medium or high density, compared to 33% in Greater Melbourne.

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.

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