Whittlesea council sets emissions goal

THE City of Whittlesea has committed to producing zero net carbon emissions within two years.

Council last week launched its Zero Net Emissions plan, with a goal of being carbon-neutral by 2022.

Major projects manager Nick Mazzarella said the plan outlined a clear, strong and achievable climate change action goal.

“We know how important it is to address climate change, which is not just a distant problem, but one that science tells us we can expect to bring serious impacts at a local level in the coming years,” he said.

“In fact, most experts believe we are dealing with the adverse effects already, as we saw with last summer’s severe bushfires.”

Mr Mazzarella said council had already upgraded 12,500 street lights with LED and compact fluorescent lamps, installed solar power systems across more than 60 of its buildings and purchased fuel-efficient and electric vehicles for its fleet, among other energy initiatives.

“Since 2011, we have reduced our annual emissions by 19.7 per cent and reduced our annual energy and operation costs by $1.175 million,” he said.

“A further 20 per cent of our emissions are offset each year. These are substantial achievements that position us as a leading council in sustainability.

“Sustainable environment is one of the four key priorities in our Whittlesea 2040 vision, which is apt because there are real risks to our city if climate change is not addressed.

“These include longer and more severe fire seasons, higher average temperatures – an increase of up to 2.7 degrees Celsius – a decrease in annual rainfall and more severe rainfall events when it does rain.

“We know this kind of action makes a difference, and we hope our commitment in this area inspires others in our community to follow suit.”

People can read council’s Zero Net Emissions plan and find ideas on how to reduce their own impact on climate change by visiting whittlesea.vic.gov.au/waste-environment/zero-net-emissions