Council has set an ambitious target to reduce Bayside’s community greenhouse gas emissions by 75% below 2005 levels by 2030; and achieve net zero emissions by 2035, or earlier.
Bayside Mayor, Cr Alex del Porto said that Council would work with the community to achieve the 75% reduction goal while working towards net zero emissions for the whole municipality.
“Council’s success in achieving carbon neutrality in our operations shows that with focus, commitment and creativity, it is possible to dramatically reduce emissions,” he said.
“We now want to work with our community to identify ways that we can all make a difference – individuals, households, businesses, clubs, organisations and Bayside as a whole. Many people making a small change can add up – many making larger changes can have a big impact.”
Setting a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the whole municipality is an action of Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, which was adopted last year after extensive community consultation.
The community target is based on science and modelling on what our municipality needs to do to make a fair contribution to limit the global temperature increase to only 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
It means we all need to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 6 to 8% each year, which is challenging but not impossible. However, the longer we leave it, the more challenging it gets.
As an organisation, Bayside City Council has been tackling greenhouse gas emissions for many years – installing solar panels on Council buildings, introducing food and organic waste recycling, and adding fully electric vehicles to our fleet.
Council was certified ‘Carbon Neutral’ in 2020 and we have halved our Council greenhouse gas emissions for 2020-21.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in one year is a great achievement, but even with all our facilities and street lights, Council only makes up half a percent of greenhouse gas emissions for the whole municipality.
That is why we have now adopted a whole-of-community approach to this critical issue, and we will work with each sector of the community on how they can contribute to achieving the target.
Bayside has also been working to respond and adapt to climate change with our neighbouring Councils in the South East through the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA).