Wednesday 9 December 2009

Cairns Council adopt carbon emission reduction policy

From Copenhagen to Cairns.

Cairns Regional Council has announced its strategic vision for the region to become one of Australia’s greenest

"This is one step closer to realisation with the adoption of a revised carbon emission reduction policy," Mayor Schier said.

Council says it is acknowledged that we live in a "hot spot" where impacts of climate change are likely to be significant, and therefore the new policy aims to make Council carbon neutral by 2020.

"The scheme would act to reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emission by 50% on current levels in ten years," Val Schier says. “For Council, the reduction of greenhouse gas is the single most effective way to help in avoiding climate change and an effective way to set the example to the broader community.”

“Council has the ability to significantly reduce these emissions by reducing energy consumption across the many areas of its operations. Setting down this commitment in policy ensures that the reduction of GHG will be considered in future policy making and deciding on issues,” Schier says.

However, for Council to achieve carbon neutrality, it will require reducing the overall net CO2 emissions of operations to zero, whilst continuing the operations of Council. They say they will do this by looking at how Council energy is purchased and used, as well as transport choices, waste disposal and the offset of carbon.

"Budget allocation within Council and access to other levels of government funding will be critical to the delivery of the policy," Schier said today. "Long term benefits of carbon management will reduce the organisation’s sensitivity to increases in future energy costs, save money through increasing energy efficient measures, create partnerships with community and businesses and provide potential for developing new local industry."

Meanwhile, Council will also changing the way it handles municipal waste. They will aim to divert waste sent to landfills by 70% and increase on-selling of recyclables by 60% by 2015.

“All over the globe the strategic direction of waste management has changed and this Council is on the leading edge. Increasingly Council will consider waste a material resource rather than a disposal problem," Schier says. "In the future, possible compulsory landfill tax and carbon emissions trading schemes will play important roles in decision making about waste management."


Warren Entsch said...

Multi-task approach is to plant the whole Cairns city region with tropical fruit trees and save all those tons of carbon. Any more effective and simplistic approach and I'll eat a steak. Fruit and vege for 37 years.

Will Noble said...

The problem with planting all those fruits trees is what you do about the unwanted fruit! Seriously, like in Brisbane,20797,26580925-952,00.html and all those trucks to collect and dispose of the waste seems to me to be a bit counter-productive. Regardless - that's just offset, they should be aiming for real emissions reduction. We use a software product that reduces the energy we consume with our PCs - now if Cairns did something like that they could reduce their desktop PC energy usage by up to 40%. On the basis IT accounts for 15% of energy consumption that could be 5% of their entire usage! The product is called Powerwise and it's sold by this mob OzDeploy in Sydney.