Waverley Council declares net zero carbon emissions target by 2030

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Waverley Council has become one of the first organisations in Australia to declare a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said Council will be able to meet the new target by purchasing 100% renewable energy, phasing out gas and switching to electric vehicles, whilst ensuring ongoing energy efficiencies.

“Our previous net zero carbon emissions target was 2050 but Council recognised that’s too long in the future and that urgent action was required now to help keep increases in global temperatures to a minimum,” Mayor Masselos said.

“It is essential that our carbon footprint is reduced as quickly as possible, and I am proud that Council is showing leadership by setting this target for our organisation,” Mayor Masselos said.

“I sincerely trust that our community will be inspired by our actions and seek to follow our lead by reducing carbon emissions. We must act for the future of our children.”

Net zero emissions means that emissions that cannot be avoided must be eliminated by purchasing equivalent greenhouse gas removals. Council recently purchased emission credits to cover last year’s carbon footprint through internationally recognized accreditation systems which have sustainable development benefits such as biodiversity improvement.

The Council resolution adopted this week is available here on pages 159-165.

“Not keeping climate change within the 2-degree limit outlined in the Paris Agreement will have catastrophic consequences for Australia and our planet,” Mayor Masselos said.

“Extreme bushfires will become increasingly frequent, prolonged dry periods will impact agriculture, flora and fauna, and our coastline.

“The impact of rising sea levels will change our beaches, coast and result in significant damage, as we have already witnessed on at least two occasions in the recent past. This week’s historic vote by Council aims to prevent that as best we can.”

In June, Council unanimously supported a Mayoral Motion to investigate setting a new target of 2030.

In 2019, Council declared a state of climate and biodiversity emergency acknowledging that urgent collaborative action at all levels of government is necessary to protect our environment and community for future generations.

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