Alpine Shire sets greenhouse gas emissions target

Council has set a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions from Council operations by July 2023 as part of its commitment to environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

09 September 2021

Council adopted its Climate Action Plan at the September Council Meeting this week, highlighting the importance of leading the community in making climate-positive choices.

Alpine Shire Mayor John Forsyth said Council is excited to present the plan.

“The natural beauty of our region is integral to the prosperity of our community, and as the Alpine Shire’s elected representatives we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect that natural beauty and preserve it for our future generations,” he said.

“The 2019/20 bushfire season highlighted our vulnerability to extreme weather events, and the global COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way we work, play, learn and live.

“Living in these uncertain times, it is more important than ever that we set ambitious targets and approach climate action with determination, commitment and our sights set on a clean future.

“We are committed to the ambitious target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions from Council operations by July 2023.”

During the development of the Climate Action Plan, Council signed on to the Victorian Energy Collaboration renewable Power Purchase Agreement (VECO PPA) which will provide all of Council’s electricity usage from 100% renewable energy, reducing Council corporate emissions by approximately 60% from the beginning of the 2021-2022 financial year.

Despite this, Council is still pursuing electricity use reduction, such as LED streetlights, the installation of solar PV and battery infrastructure on Council-managed buildings and longer-term replacement of Council’s vehicle fleet with greener vehicles.

Cr Forsyth said through the Climate Action Plan, Council is accountable for the impact its operations have on global greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have identified an environmentally, economically and socially responsible pathway to achieve this target - we encourage the community to take some time to read the Plan and consider how they can make individual changes toward reducing their own emissions,” he said.

“The next step is to develop a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan to ensure Council assets, and the community, are climate ready by addressing the consequences and impacts of changing weather patterns. 

“Beyond this, Council will endeavour to lead shire-wide action through mitigation, adaptation and resilience initiatives.”

The baseline greenhouse gas emissions from Council operations is calculated at 2,384 tonnes CO2 equivalent (t CO2-e) per year. 

The implementation of the Climate Action Plan and performance against the target will be monitored and reported annually.

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