The city of Sydney will forward its five-year net emissions target by 2035, making it the first council in the state to set such an early target.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore was due to present the city’s environmental strategy 2021-25 to the council on Monday night and promised to spend $ 24 million over four years on achieving the accelerated goal for Sydney.
“While the city of Sydney cannot cope with the climate crisis alone, we can lead and encourage others to do the same in their communities,” Cr Moore said.
The target for 2035 was in line with the pace the world is at to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it is to reach the lower end of the Paris climate target of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. So far, the Morrison government has resisted international and domestic pressure to set a net zero-emission target for 2050.
In contrast, all Australian states have a net zero target by 2050, with the ACT aiming for 2045. Among cities, Adelaide has a 2025 target of achieving CO2 neutrality, while Melbourne aims for 2040.
Sydney’s strategy, which goes on public display for four weeks from 19 May, if approved, aims to encourage residents and businesses in the urban area to reduce energy consumption or switch to fully renewable energy sources. Energy consumption accounts for almost three quarters of the city’s emissions.
Programs to encourage people to switch away from private vehicles to public transportation, walking and cycling will tackle the city’s second largest source of emissions. Transport produces about one-sixth of Sydney’s emissions.
“The city of Sydney was the first local government in Australia to become CO2 neutral in 2007, and our operations are now powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity,” said Cr Moore.