20:20 Visions - NET ZERO CARBON FOR GEORGES RIVER COUNCIL BY 2030

The City of Sydney launched its C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program in May, with Mayor Clover Moore stating “Climate action is the City of Sydney’s top priority”, as reflected in the City’s 2030 Strategy and Climate Emergency declaration.

Ahead of the Global Climate Strike called for 20 September, the program’s 20 mentees are taking this opportunity to share the vision for each of their projects, and their view on climate activism. The outcomes of their projects will be presented at the global Women4Climate Conference in Sydney in April 2020.

Daniela Ramirez, Senior Sustainability Officer, Georges River Council

NET ZERO CARBON FOR GEORGES RIVER COUNCIL BY 2030

My vision

My vision is that by 2030, Georges River Council will be net zero carbon. Council would have developed a pathway to reduce their operational GHG emissions and it will be endorsed internally.

Council will be using renewable energy from solar panels installed in every roof owned by Council where there is potential to generate power. Staff will be driving electric vehicles to meetings and field trips and at night those will be charged by storage batteries or through the grid which will be 100% renewable. By increasing the percentage in our PPA (Power purchase agreement) our significant energy user equipment will be energy efficient, and continuous improvement will reduce the electricity consumption through an implemented energy management system.

My project

I will investigate the impact of adopting the following targets for Georges River Council:

  • 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025
  • Net Zero emissions by 2030 and

The report will investigate the method of quantifying Council's current emissions and proposed methods for reducing/offsetting emissions. It will look at an indicative timeframe with key performance indicators for stated targets, and a two-future scenario that includes the financial implications associated with achieving these targets.

The report is an important step for Council in moving towards a greener future and playing a bigger role in helping to combat the global issue of climate change. It will demonstrate leadership and an effective response to a public concern that has been raised by community groups, who are informed and proactive about the impacts of climate change and the need for Council action.

Role of cities

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say that cities consume approximately 70% of energy and are responsible for 75% of global carbon emissions. Also 70% of cities are already dealing with the effects of climate change, and nearly all are at risk. These stats show that cities are as powerful to mitigate climate change as they are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Acting locally to respond to climate change with a combination of mitigation initiatives, but also with adaptation initiatives to protect Council assets, operations and services provided to the community will have immediate impacts. As rightly said by C40 Cities, “ending climate change begins in the city”.

My Support for the Global Climate Strike

 The demands for the school strike for climate in Australia are:

  1. No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine.
  2. 100% renewable energy generation & exports by 2030
  3. Fund a just transition & job creation for all fossil-fuel workers & communities.

These are young climate strikers protesting the government’s lack of action on the Climate Crisis.  I am deeply surprised at the tenacity and passion of these kids, and I feel responsible in my role in the government sector and as a mother, as I want to answer the questions from my kids one day and be able to say that I have done everything I can for them, for their city, for their world, for their future.

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”