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Practical steps to emissions reductions

Tuesday 20 August 2019

A plan of 69 practical steps sees Eurobodalla exceeding its greenhouse gas emission targets for local government operations.

While climate change dominates the news globally and locally, Eurobodalla Council’s sustainability coordinator Mark Shorter said the 2017-21 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) had already saved more than 21,000 tonnes of CO2 and more than $1million.

“We had an interim target to reduce Council operation emissions by 25 percent by 2020 but achieved a 35 percent reduction two years ahead of schedule,” Mr Shorter said.

“We are well on track to achieve our next goals; an 80 percent reduction in emissions and sourcing 100 percent of council’s electricity from renewable energy, both by 2030.”

Mr Shorter said emissions savings were realised across Council’s operations.

“Compare to the 2005-06 baseline, building emissions are down 34 percent, street light emissions 37 percent, and landfill methane emissions 50 percent,” he said.

“The ERP identified 21 new actions to be added to the 48 already listed. These include energy and fleet management, community outcomes, street lighting, planning, waste and renewable energy.”

“Of the 21 new actions, seven are already complete, with the other 14 to be addressed in the coming year.”

He said the ERP was a results-driven tool used by Council to take practical action on climate change.

“For example, in the last year we’ve worked with other regional councils and Essential Energy to accelerate the availability of main-road LED street lights, and work continues toward a renewable energy power purchase agreement by 2020,” Mr Shorter said.

“We licenced NRMA to build an electric-vehicle fast-charge station at Batemans Bay and completed and acted on energy audits on Council buildings. More than 10,000 people attended Council-run sustainability events in 2018-19.

Mr Shorter said Eurobodalla was announced as a finalist in the 2018 Cities Power Partnership Awards and joint winner of the Knowledge Sharing Award, in recognition of the practical steps taken by Council to reduce emissions in recent years.

“We’ve been fiscally responsible with all our ERP projects,” he said.

“That means we’re more than $1million better off  in energy and water costs thanks to savings in building efficiencies ($160,000), lighting ($310,000), pumps and motors ($200,000), energy management ($300,00) and solar power ($195,000).

Find out more and read the ERP here.