Councils and communities leading action on climate change

May 2, 2018

Local councils and communities are leading action on climate change in Australia according to a nationwide report released today

The Australian Local Government Climate Review 2018 provides a comprehensive assessment of the actions councils are undertaking to tackle climate change, along with the barriers and challenges they face.

Produced by Beyond Zero Emissions, ICLEI Oceania, and council consultancy Ironbark Sustainability, the nationwide review found many local councils have corporate and community targets as well as strategies to reduce emissions. Just 3 per cent of respondents reported they were satisfied with the federal government’s approach to meeting global emissions targets.

“This report shows councils and their communities are stepping up in the wake of federal inaction to lead the way on climate change,” said Imogen Jubb, National Manager of Zero Carbon Communities at Beyond Zero Emissions. “It is encouraging to see that many councils are setting 100% renewable energy goals and emission targets, in line with best practice internationally.”

Nationwide, 50 per cent of Australian councils provide public information on climate change.

“With effective national policy to rapidly decarbonise Australia’s economy still missing in action, local governments have been leading on climate change action for over 20 years,” said Bernie Cotter, ICLEI Oceania’s Regional Director for the Global Covenant of Mayors. “State and federal governments need to support the strong desire to accelerate effective emissions reductions at the community level.”

A lack of funding and resourcing was found to be the most significant barrier to reducing emissions across council and the community. “Councils have been front-and-centre in the successful delivery of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for decades,” said Alexi Lynch, Business Manager Ironbark Sustainability. “This report shows this trend has continued and moved to the next level with councils delivering more innovative projects to reduce emissions and setting climate targets in line with what the science demands.”

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