Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President, Linda Scott, has renewed a call to establish a $200 million climate response fund to help councils achieve climate neutrality as soon as practicable.
“Councils are committed to reducing Australia’s emissions, but with a dedicated Federal funding stream could do even more, delivering local solutions to this national challenge,” said Cr Scott.
She welcomed the climate bill introduced by the Government into Parliament this week, saying it will support more councils to develop and implement their own local plans.
“The 2021 Australian Local Government Climate Review found that more than 70% of responding councils have set or are planning ambitious emissions reduction targets for their own operations, while 80% have set or are investigating emissions reduction targets across their entire community,” Cr Scott said.
“Meeting these targets will make a significant contribution to reducing our emissions at a national level.”
She said that across Australia, Councils were introducing energy efficient LED streetlighting, installing electric vehicle charging stations, using recycled roads materials, and increasing tree canopy coverage as part of emission reduction efforts.
“Some are going further, investing in renewable energy plants, or supporting residents to install solar panels. These initiatives could be replicated by more councils with greater funding support,” said Cr Scott.
Introducing the legislation into Parliament on Wednesday, Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen said Labor’s emissions reduction target of 43% was “ambitious but achievable”.
The Bill enshrines the new target of 43% reduction by 2030, as well as the 2050 target of net zero.