Calling local climate change champions

Join us in taking bold and urgent action on climate change in 2020. From significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to creating recycled roads, we are hard at work, and you can help.

Our vision is for Melbourne to be a sustainable city, powered by renewable energy, and we have invested more than $17 million towards this goal since 2015.

Council operations are now powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, thanks to the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project wind farm, and we’re helping city businesses and events follow suit.

Our latest emissions data shows this work is having a significant impact, even after only six months of renewable electricity supply.

We have also upgraded 11,816 street lights and installed 556 kW of solar panels thanks to a Clean Energy Finance Corporation loan. Each year, this saves us $1 million and reduces our emissions by thousands of tonnes.

Last financial year, Council’s total greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 34 per cent, far exceeding our 4.5 per cent per annum target and our commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

A rural wind farm

This wind farm powers 100 per cent of Council operations
Photo: Pacific Hydro Australia

What is the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project?
In an Australian-first, a group of local governments, cultural institutions, universities and corporations combined their purchasing power to support the construction of an 80-megawatt, 39-turbine wind farm.

Owned and operated by local clean-energy company Pacific Hydro, the wind farm in Crowlands, near Ararat, is now supplying energy to power town halls, banks, universities and street lights across Melbourne.

Building on the success and insights of this project, we are working towards a second power purchase agreement for more city businesses.

Looking to the future, we will continue to work to reduce emissions in our supply chain and events, and work with partners to drive the transition to a carbon neutral city.

We are investing in our urban forests, green buildings, waste innovation and pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, with a focus on wellbeing as well as economic, social and environmental benefits.

Our flagship events Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Music Week and Melbourne Knowledge Week have been certified carbon neutral by Climate Active for two years running.

Waste will continue to be a key focus, as we chart a path through the recycling crisis towards long-term sustainable solutions and support eco-conscious businesses through initiatives like our Waste Innovation Fund.

Despite our achievements, this is a work in progress and we have a long way to go.

Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the Environment portfolio, said Council will continue to lead and call for ambitious and rapid climate change action among residents, businesses, investors and all levels of government.

‘We declared a climate and biodiversity emergency, alongside over 1000 other jurisdictions worldwide, acknowledging the need to accelerate the urgent actions that need to happen,’ Cr Oke said.

‘The City of Melbourne is taking action, but we need support from the Victorian and Australian governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’

‘We will advocate for Victorian and Australian government action to deliver 100 per cent renewable energy to our city and to increase the ambition of Australia’s climate policy.

‘This includes advocating for Melbourne’s public transport to be efficient and powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.’

Five ways to take action on climate change

According to research by Sustainability Victoria, 80 per cent of Victorians are willing to take action on climate change. It’s a team effort, and everyone can make a difference. Here are five powerful New Year’s resolutions you can make for 2020.

1. Purchase 100 per cent GreenPower for your home or business. Visit Greenpower.

2. Switch your superannuation to a provider that has divested from fossil fuel. Learn more at Market Forces.

3. Commit to reducing meat in your diet and source your food locally.

4. Join the CitySwitch Green Office program to take action at work. Get started at CitySwitch.

5. Attend the Sustainable Living Festival in February and learn more about your own impact. View the program at Sustainable Living Festival 2020.