Eurobodalla Shire Council says it has adopted its most ambitious climate action plan to date.
The ten-year plan outlines targets for Council’s operations and includes an increased focus on community action; supporting individuals and businesses with practical ways to reduce their environmental footprint.
The establishment of a climate change advisory group, and strategies to support electric vehicles and biodiversity support the plan into the future, Council said in a statement.
Mayor, Mathew Hatcher said 58 actions to mitigate climate change and help the shire adapt to its impacts spanned the entirety of Eurobodallan life; from energy and transport to the economy and the built environment.
“This plan takes an in-depth look at where we are now, where we want to go, and how we get there,” Mayor Hatcher said.
“There’s further footprint reductions for Council – on the back of nearly two decades of emissions and energy cost savings – with a strong focus on emerging opportunities within budget and resource constraints.”
Council wants 100% of its emissions sourced from renewable energy by 2030 with an 80% reduction in emissions from the 2005 baseline. The goal is net-zero emissions by 2040. Community targets have been set at the same levels as the NSW Government; a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
The Mayor says he’s confident the Council is on track.
“The organisation has been diligent, reducing emissions over many years, and already has a Power Purchase Agreement aiming to source 80 per cent of its electricity from renewables. There’s more for us to do too but now’s the time to bring forward support for residents and businesses,” he said.
“Individuals and groups have been heavily involved in developing this plan from the start – the 18 specific actions for the community originate from the community.
“It’s an ambitious plan and not something Council can deliver without community help. We are tapping into the expertise and enthusiasm available in our shire to tick off these actions, meet our targets, and create a better world for our kids. The work starts now.”
Council has implemented three consecutive emissions reductions plans between 2007 and 2021. Adoption of the 10-year Eurobodalla Climate Action Plan comes after heatwaves and fires across the northern hemisphere and, closer to home, unprecedented flooding across New South Wales this year.
Speakers at Council’s recent Public Forum called for Council to declare a climate emergency. However, councillors agreed to delay that discussion to ensure the entire community was given ample opportunity to participate.
The full report, along with a handy summary of targets and actions, is available on the Council’s website.