Beyond Zero Emissions is working with local communities
We are developing plans to bring their overall local emissions to zero within a decade. These plans are based on our Australia-wide Zero Carbon Australia plans.
Both in Australia and around the world, cities, towns and local communities are making genuinely ambitious commitments and taking meaningful action on climate change. They are often doing this despite their national governments.
In Australia, the Federal Government has backed away from effective action on climate change, so Beyond Zero Emissions began working with several councils to support their goals of reducing emissions. This was the start of our Zero Carbon Communities project.
Action by local government in Australia
Our research on local governments in early 2016 revealed a surprising finding – almost 1 in 5 Australian local governments are being highly ambitious with emissions reduction targets. Read about it here.
The Byron Shire Council in New South Wales is one community leading the way. In March 2015, the Mayor of the Council, Simon Richardson, announced that the region was to become the first in Australia to commit to achieving zero emissions within 10 years.
Photo: Tallows Beach in the Byron Shire, New South Wales, Australia
Byron Bay first regional Australian city to commit to zero emissions
(The Guardian, 9 March 2015)
Byron shire aims to lead Australia on zero emissions community plan
(Renew Economy, 9 March 2015)
Beyond Zero Emissions is working with the Byron Shire Council to support five community working groups on buildings, energy, land use, transport and waste. These groups are currently working through the first phase of the project including:
- Gathering baseline data
- Setting targets,
- Identifying strategic options
- Pinpointing potential barriers, and
- Developing action plans
Photo: One of the Zero Emissions Byron Working Groups – taking time out to smile at the camera.
Several other councils, including Mitchell Shire Council in Victoria, are also working with Beyond Zero Emissions towards zero emissions.
A generic blueprint for zero carbon communities
Through this work with individual councils, Beyond Zero Emissions is aiming to develop a plan and resource toolkit that we can apply widely. This Zero Carbon Community Blueprint and toolkit will outline the process and required resources that will facilitate and accelerate the uptake of zero carbon targets and projects in communities across Australia.
We will make this generic blueprint and toolkit available online to support others move towards zero emissions.
In the longer term, Beyond Zero Emissions will be using increased action at community level as a basis to advocate for improved policy and funding for climate action at local, state and federal levels.
Funding for Community Renewable Energy
Beyond Zero Emissions is working on a community renewable energy financing model.
(Zero Emissions Byron: 100% Community renewable energy financing model)
The Paris Climate Conference 2015
The Beyond Zero Emissions CEO and the Byron Shire Council Mayor went to the United Nations Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in 2015.
Before going to Paris, in November 2015, they went to the associated Australian Climate Leadership Summit in Sydney. This was attended by leaders of many regions, councils and states.
TheAustralian Climate Leadership Summit in Sydney held prior to COP21 recognised the forward thinking of the City of Sydney, City of Adelaide, City of Melbourne, City of Perth, Lismore City Council and Byron Shire Council. (Climate Leadership)
Photo: Byron Shire Council Mayor Cr Simon Richardson at the Climate Leaders Summit Sydney 2015
Photo: Byron Shire Council Mayor, at the Paris Conference, presenting the Zero Emissions Byron project
In Paris, 1000 mayors signed-on to 100% renewable energy pledges and large emissions reductions targets. (“Global 100% RE“)
Photo: The historic gathering of hundreds of “100% renewables” mayors from all over the globe assembled at Paris City Hall.
With our established independent research base and community work, Beyond Zero Emissions is taking a leading role in the emerging global “Zero Carbon Practitioner Network”.
As a result, we are receiving an increasing number of requests from within Australia and beyond, for support and technical assistance to adapt the national Zero Carbon Australia vision to support the development of community zero carbon transition plans.
The photo at the top of the page is of the “Hepburn Wind Launch Festival in 2011”, courtesy of Hepburn Wind.