Aussie councils join forces in national pledge to tackle climate change

35 LOCAL COUNCILS including Eurobodalla Shire Council and Bega Valley Council, representing over 3 million Australians, have pledged to tackle rising emissions and worsening climate change through local action and solutions, at the official launch of the Cities Power Partnership (CPP) in Canberra. The Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership program aims to transform Australia’s energy future, with hundreds of towns and cities, through councils, becoming local leaders and champions. Climate Council Chief Councillor Professor Tim Flannery said today that the landmark, national initiative had the potential to transform Australia’s energy future from the ground up. “We have 35 councils, who together represent more than 3 million Australians living in hundreds of towns and cities of all shapes and sizes across the country,” he said. “Each Council has joined forces under Cities Power Partnership and is ready to get on with the job of tackling climate change.” Professor Flannery said transforming the way cities use and generate energy alone has the potential to deliver 70% of the total emissions reductions needed. “We are pleased to welcome all of the councils to the Cities Power Partnership’s first intake and congratulate them on rolling up their sleeves to become major drivers of positive climate and energy action.” “We are now calling on every single council across Australia to do the same, and take the Cities Power Partnership pledge.”

Above: Climate Council Chief Councillor Professor Tim Flannery talking the ‘power partner’ talk.

At a local level Clr James Thomson represents Eurobodalla Shire Council at the launch today at Mount Majura solar farm. “The Cities Power Partnership offers Australian councils realistic and effective ways to encourage clean energy technology, energy efficiency and sustainable transport at a local level. “We’re already a leader in this field,” said Clr Thomson. “Eurobodalla Council’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions are saving ratepayers more than $1 million annually through our energy efficiency and demand management programs. “For instance, each year we’re saving $200,000 a year in electricity costs at our water pumping stations simply by altering our operation times. These are the kinds of methodologies we want to share with other CPP councils and we hope to learn about similar successful actions from our partner councils.” “We think the Cities Power Partnership has the potential to lift us all.” Members of the partnership will be given access to a national knowledge hub, ‘buddied’ with cities to knowledge share, and visited by domestic and international experts. The CPP will also use the Climate Council’s profile to showcase the achievements of council partners in national, local and social media. Climate Council Chief Councillor, Professor Tim Flannery said the ability to tackle climate change also lies not just in what each council can do alone, but what they can all achieve as a collective. “From booming urban centres to small rural townships, local governments and their determined communities are set to become trailblazers under the Cities Power Partnership. We are so excited to welcome Eurobodalla Shire Council to this landmark initiative,” he said.

Above: Clr James Thomson represented Eurobodalla Council at the Cities Power Partnership launch at Mount Majura Solar Farm in Canberra.

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