Waverley Council adopts new community greenhouse gas emission target of net zero by 2035

23 March 2022

Waverley Council has adopted a new community greenhouse gas emission target of net zero by 2035.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, proposed the target in a Mayoral Minute which Council unanimously supported this month.

Council had a previous community greenhouse gas emissions target of climate neutral by 2050.

Net zero emissions means that emissions that cannot be avoided must be eliminated by purchasing equivalent greenhouse gas removals such as carbon credits. In a community setting, net zero emissions can also be achieved by:

  • reducing emissions from electricity by using 100% renewable energy
  • reducing gas consumption
  • electrification of transportation and heating and cooling
  • increasing the levels of active transport such as walking and cycling
  • diverting waste from landfill by increased recycling and composting.

Mayor Masselos said while a net zero target by 2035 is ambitious, there are clear ways the community can achieve this.

“2050 is way too off in the future and doesn’t align with the latest scientific research which shows that global temperatures are rising and there’s an urgent need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Masselos said.

“For instance, electricity makes up 60% of the community’s main emission sources, and in recent years the Waverley community has been reducing its electricity use through the installation of solar panels and increased energy efficiency. Through this and moving to 100% renewable energy in the grid, we can enable our new net zero target to be achieved.”

In July 2021, Waverley Council was one of the first organisations in Australia to declare a net zero emissions target of 2030. This slightly earlier target reflects Council’s ability to manage and reduce emissions from its own assets.

The resolution about this latest community greenhouse gas emission target reads as follows:

That Council: 

1. Adopts an ambitious community greenhouse gas emission target of net zero by 2035 and that this be included in the State Environmental Action Plan and draft Waverley Community Strategic Plan for public exhibition.

2. Requests that a report be prepared outlining:

(a) Costed actions on how Council can support and enable the community to achieve this target. (b) Other potential activities, such as increasing the penetration of solar on Waverley houses, strata and businesses in combination with the grid decarbonising, i.e. moving away from fossil fuels towards 100% renewable energy.

3. Receives this report by August 2022.

4. Notes that Council has declared a climate and biodiversity emergency.

5. Notes that the General Manager has entered into a contract on behalf of Council with ZEN Energy for 100% renewable energy.

The ZEN Energy contract brokered by the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils will deliver over 214 gigawatt hours of electricity per year to 25 councils across NSW including Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra.


Media inquiries: media@waverley.nsw.gov.au or 0416 075 532.