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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Council’s plan to act on climate change

A fleet of electric vehicles, additional renewables and LED lighting are part of City of Newcastle’s new Climate Action Plan.

The plan covers both the council’s operations and Newcastle to accelerate emission reduction across the city through a suite of sensible and prudent action and initiatives. 

Working collaboratively with other progressive organisations, the plan takes advantage of the economic opportunities that arise from a clean energy and low-emissions industry landscape.

The Climate Action Plan is listed for consideration at Tuesday’s (24 November) Ordinary Council Meeting and replaces the 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan (CWMAP). 

It sets new targets and outlines innovative and sustainable programs to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the plan would build upon the achievements of recent years that had led to Newcastle being recognised as one of Australia’s leading cities in sustainability. 

“City of Newcastle has formally committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and we accept there is a global climate emergency,” she said.

“We owe it to our children to prioritise concrete action on climate change.  

“As Novocastrians, we have seen firsthand the impacts of climate change, be it the erosion of Stockton Beach or increasingly severe storms that beached the Pasha Bulker.

“The Climate Action Plan sets ambitious goals and priorities for the next five years and follows the successful delivery of our previous plan which included the transition to 100% renewable electricity.”

Cr Nelmes added the City would take advantage of emerging technology and utilise more recycled and low-emissions materials.  

“We’ll also look to our large fleet of vehicles and will work on a transition to electric vehicles as they become more prevalent, diverse and economically competitive,” she said.

“City of Newcastle, in collaboration with other city partner organisations, has been slowly investing in the rollout of vehicle charging infrastructure to support the international shift to electric vehicles.

“We’re proud to be one of the most progressive cities in the country when it comes to tackling climate change and are confident this new plan will keep us moving down this path of sustainability.”

Over the next five years, City of Newcastle will reduce fuel use by 50% through transitioning the council’s fleet to electric options, reduce electricity use by 30% by switching all lighting to LEDs (or equivalent), increase renewable energy and battery storage, support the development of sustainable infrastructure, and encourage new community renewable energy projects.

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