The Borough of Queenscliffe, Victoria, has reduced its emissions by 73 per cent in the past financial year, significantly accelerating its transition towards carbon neutrality.
The substantial reduction in emissions comes off the back of Council adopting its Climate Emergency Response Plan in May 2021. The plan contains 49 actions designed to reduce the Borough’s carbon output to zero by 2031, and includes interim targets for both Council and the community to achieve.
Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor, Ross Ebbels, said the reduction was a testament to the impact of the work Council and the community had done to reduce emissions.
“I’m thrilled to announce such a substantial one-year drop in Council’s emissions,” Mayor Ebbels said.
“While we still have more work to do, this result demonstrates our commitment to being a climate leader.”
The Borough has implemented a number of policy changes to achieve the substantial reduction in emissions.
Council’s decision to purchase 100 per cent renewable electricity through the Victorian Energy Collaboration for all of its operations, including council buildings, tourist parks, street lights and public facilities, had the largest impact on the reduction in emissions. Other changes, such as the rollout of a kerbside food waste collection service, are also contributing to Council’s falling emissions output.
In total, Council reduced its scope 1 and 2 emissions from 1,038 tonnes in 2014-15 to just 141 tonnes in 2021-22. The reduction is equivalent to taking nearly 200 petrol cars off the road every year.
Council is now exploring ways to further reduce its emissions profile by swapping its vehicle fleet for electric vehicles, disconnecting remaining gas services, and investing in more sustainable building and construction methods.
Mayor Ebbels said he hoped the news would encourage residents to challenge themselves to reduce their emissions at home.
“Making the choice to buy 100 per cent renewable energy, install solar panels, or leave the car at home, can dramatically reduce your impact on the climate,” Mayor Ebbels said.
“What Council has achieved over the past year shows that small changes can add up to a big impact, and I hope we can inspire some of our residents to take the next step on our journey to becoming a more climate-friendly community.”
More information about the Borough’s Climate Emergency Response plan is available at queenscliffe.vic.gov.au/cerp.