Energy and Emissions
Climate Change is one of the biggest environmental, social and economic challenges that we as a local and international community face.
It can be sobering to realise that our everyday activities such as driving a car, using energy, buying food or disposing of organic waste, are all contributing to the build up of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane in the atmosphere. These gases, caused from the burning of fossil fuels and decomposing of waste are making a noticeable change to the world’s climate that will impact on our lives and the lives of our children.
To reduce greenhouse pollution we must use energy much more wisely, and switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Whether you live, work in or visit Yarra, there are actions you can take to be a part of the effort to reduce Yarra’s impact on climate change.
Find out what Council is doing
Find out what you can do
Energy targets for Yarra
Yarra Council is progressing well towards its ambitious and challenging energy related targets. Council was successful in attaining Carbon Neutral status under the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) program, and in doing so becoming the first Victorian and only second Council nationwide to achieve this certification.
The 2011/12 period also saw Council continue its reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with numbers now 22.4% lower than they were in 2000/01. Year on year this was a decrease of 9% compared to 2010/11 levels, demonstrating Council’s ability to deliver real energy savings.
Similarly, Council’s own energy creation continues to head in the right direction. Nearly 6% of Council’s energy needs now come from local, low carbon sources. In 2011/12, Council implemented its largest number of solar PV systems to date with over 140kw of capacity across nine buildings installed.
Yarra City Council remains committed to ensuring long term sustainability, and is currently planning the final works that will determine whether Council’s 2015 targets can be met.
Here is the Environmental Footprint Report - 2011 2012 (1.59 MB)
Environmental Footprint Report - 2011 2012 (2.72 MB)
Here is the Environmental Footprint Report 2010-11 (345.58 KB)
Environmental Footprint Report 2010-11 (1.06 MB)
Here is the Environmental Footprint Report (682.72 KB) for 2009-10
Council's reduction in energy use has occurred at the same time as Yarra’s residential population has grown by 10,000 people. Increasing services to meet the needs of a growing community and other one-off projects (such as the installation of an air-conditioner at the Collingwood Town Hall to provide more acceptable working conditions) have impacted on Council’s ability to meet the 30% target.
At its September 2011 meeting, Council decided to redirect about $765,000 it had planned to spend on purchasing GreenPower towards direct actions. These actions will include retrofitting more Council facilities with solar panels and installing more energy-efficient lighting. Council intends to spend about $100,000 to purchase accredited carbon offsets for all of its emissions in 2011-2012. With these actions, Council is on track to achieve its target that Council’s operations will be carbon neutral by June 2012.
Energy and greenhouse plans and strategies
Council has developed various plans and strategies focused on reducing our greenhouse emissions.
These plans and strategies include:
Yarra Environment Strategy
Yarra Energy Foundation
Carbon Neutral Action Plan:
Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2010 - 2015 (517.40kB)
Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2010 - 2015 (3.08MB) (rtf format)
More resources on climate change
Climate Change Impacts on Australia
Weekly Greenhouse Indicator
Garnaut Climate Change Review
Department of Climate Change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Coordinator - Environmental Management
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