Renewable Energy Declaration of Geelong

Draft text, currently open for suggestions, advice, negotiations and adjustments.

Endorsing and signing this declaration means that you support the following two statements:

1) We must invest in renewable energy and have an ambitious target for our city: 100 per cent renewables by 2030
2) Coal, gas and oil must stay in the ground

» You can  Sign the declaration on – or you can comment it below.

The Renewable Energy Declaration of Geelong

We, the citizens of Greater Geelong,

Committed to the implementation of an energy infrastructure and energy generation at all levels which relies 100 per cent on renewable, non-polluting energy sources,

Recalling that the ten One Planet Living principles, one of which is the ‘Zero Carbon’ principle, provide a framework that allows us to examine the sustainability challenges we face and develop action plans to live and work within a fair share of the earth’s resources,

Appreciating that the City of Greater Geelong Council’s new Environmental Management Strategy is in alignment with the One Planet Living principles,

Recognising that in the current phase, improvement in energy efficiency is just as important as the transitioning to renewable energy,

Referring to the findings of the United Nations’ climate panel IPCC, and the United Nations’ call in January 2014 for a tripling of clean energy investment, (see also: ‘Triple or quadruple renewables’, says a panel of 200 scientists”) which is what is required to stay within 2°C of global warming, and to The United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which aims to help stabilize climate change over the long run, and which provides a framework for doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency while also doubling the share of renewable energy in our energy mix before 2030,

Considering that the process of decarbonising Geelong is also an opportunity to revive and revitalise Geelong’s business life, employment rates and economy,

Reminding that Geelong’s mayor Darryn Lyons during the mayoral election in November 2013 stated in a survey conducted by 94.7 The Pulse that he will advocate for Geelong to become the ‘Cleantech Capital of Australia’. Mr Lyons also promised that he will work for a number of related issues and policies which are yet to be initiated,[1]

Reminding our elected leaders of the specific mandate which has been entrusted to them in Council and Governments to protect us, the citizens, against danger and threats, and that this includes joining the global efforts to establish long-term climate safety on this planet,

Affirming that inclusion of and respect for the diversity of cultures, opinions and political observance is crucial in order to establish the widest possible engagement in our community,

Reaffirming that 100 percent renewable energy is the single and ultimate goal that unites us, and that numerous papers and studies, such as ‘The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan’ and ‘The Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan’ by Beyond Zero Emissions, have outlined how it is possible for us to reach this goal,

Noting that this energy reform which will transform Australia from a 19th century fossil fuel based, emissions-intensive economy to a 21st-century renewable-energy-powered cleantech economy is at the heart of contemporary debates about democracy, citizenship, social cohesion, and the development of a smart and knowledge-based economy,

Aspiring to the simple ‘lead by example’ principle and acknowledging that optimism in itself is a very important element in this process, and also to greater awareness of the unity of citizens of Geelong, of Australians as well as humankind in our common need of a safe climate, and of the development of responsible, sustainable business models and policies that have carbon-reducing effects,

Asking our elected politicians to proclaim the following two principles and adopt the Renewable Energy Declaration and Action Plan for our city:


1) Invest in renewable energy

Massive ‘Marshall-plan-like’ public and private investments must be directed to developing, producing and enhancing renewable energy as well as energy saving technologies. Within our generation, two thirds of our energy must come from non-polluting renewable energy sources, and within two generations, all pollution of the atmosphere must have stopped.

2) Coal, gas and oil must stay in the ground

The era of fossil fuels as our primary energy source are over. Within a generation they must stay in the ground. That means that exploration and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry must end as soon as possible, and all public investment in fossil fuel-based infrastructure must end immediately.




for the implementation of renewable energy in Geelong

It is the responsibility of our elected leaders to take action on this declaration. Legislation and regulation must be adjusted so that it supports and promotes the desired transitioning to a more sustainable and renewable energy mix, opening up new, more decentralised, democratic and clean energy generation.

We, the citizens of Greater Geelong, call for

Local Government to:

→ ensure that the City of Greater Geelong, like Sydney and Melbourne, sets an ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy sources by 2030.

→ assist and support implementation of new community-based solar and wind projects

→ put in place new regulations that ensure that citizens are not rejected by power companies when they wish to invest in solar on their properties while still being connected to the grid

→ make infrastructural changes which encourage carbon-reducing behaviour and means of transport. This includes prioritizing improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists in the streets, lower speed limit for cars in the city centre, many more zebra-crossings, etc.

→ follow up and ensure that Council’s clear stand against any gas mining taking place in our region will lead to a total ban on hydraulic fracturing and onshore gas mining in Victoria

→ lead by example: retrofit all council buildings to increase energy efficiency rating, cycle to work, etc.

→ place standards on block orientation, energy efficiency and rooftop solar on all new housing developments in City of Greater Geelong

State Government to:

→ support a Victorian Renewable Energy Target

→ restore fair laws for wind farms, which includes to slash the regulations which require a two kilometres ‘safety zone’ around wind turbines (See the joint letter directed to Premier Denis Napthine)

→ fix and guarantee a community feed-in tarif for electricity delivered from community-funded renewable energy projects to the power grid in order to stimulate increased investments in ‘crowdfunded’ renewable energy.

→ keep the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET).

Federal Government to:

→ increase the Renewable Energy Target. More info about the RET

What does it look like at the moment?

• Australia’s government is subsidising the fossil fuel industry with over $10 billion a year, and this figure is on the rise.

• Australia plans to invest over $100 billion in new coal mining developments over the next 15 years.

• 92 percent of Victoria’s electricity is generated using brown coal, and it is the Victorian State Goverment’s plan to greatly expand coal mining in Victoria through the creation of an export industry, using tax payers money to build new roads and ports.

• Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, and the biggest contributor is cars.

• The world is not on track to meet the target agreed by governments to limit the long-term rise in the average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, according to United Nation’s climate panel IPCC, and the International Energy Agency, an autonomous agency which was established in 1974.

• Australia’s target, which the government is currently reviewing, that 20 percent of electricity should be generated with renewable energy sources by 2020 is not very ambitions. In comparison, Denmark’s targets are a 50 percent electricity share by 2020 – and 100 percent share by 2050. Germany’s targets are at least 35 percent electricity share by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Germany’s electricity share had already reached a reported 25 percent in the first nine months of 2012. (Source:

What about the carbon tax?

The real cost of carbon emissions, climate change and extreme weather events, should gradually and increasingly be paid by those who burn the fossil fuels. Polluting the atmosphere has huge impacts on our society and it simply can’t be free to flood the atmosphere with carbon much longer. We believe this is obvious.
(You’d probably be surprised, but even oil companies are beginning to agree on this.)
However, as Australian politics have recently shown, it is far from obvious to everyone. It is important in a democratic society that increased taxes or fees on burning fossil fuels are not implemented before there is a majority in the population in support of such measures.

» Climate News Network – 18 April 2014:
The energy revolution is in reverse
The world should be moving to a clean energy future, the IPCC says. The recent record of global greenhouse emissions show it’s heading in entirely the wrong direction.

» The Guardian – 3 December 2013:
Australia must cut emissions 40% by 2020 to avoid ‘dramatic climatic shifts’
Leading scientists and economists, including Ross Garnaut, say a world on track for 4C warming will put Australia ‘under assault’. Article by Oliver Milman

[1] Darryn Lyons about renewable energy

Darryn Lyons said in an online questionnaire on 11 November 2013 that he will advocate for City of Greater Geelong transitioning to zero carbon emissions and 100 percent renewable energy in the same pace or even faster than Melbourne.

Melbourne is aspiring to become a carbon neutral city, and to have zero net carbon emissions by 2020. 25 percent of electricity from Melbourne’s stationary energy supply will come from renewable sources by 2018, and the city’s commercial and residential sector as well as in its energy production will cut carbon emissions by between 19 and 25 percent by 2020.

Darryn Lyons further declared that he is ready to advocate for Geelong to follow Sydney’s example and set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030 or even sooner, that he will support placing wind turbines on the Barrabool and Bellarine hills, but only after extensive consultation.

He stated that he is against any gas mining taking place in our region until a scientific investigation has assessed what the impact on the environment is, that he supports retrofitting of all council buildings to the increase energy efficiency rating, and he is also in support of standards being placed on block orientation and energy efficiency on all new housing developments in City of Greater Geelong.

If you or your organisation would consider being among the signatories of this declaration as well as letter – or if you have comments – then fill this form:

» See who else is intending to sign this declaration: Signatories

Online Action: Other petitions and pledges

Australians for Climate Action

GetUp’s open letter to the federal government has three demands:

• Cut Australia’s pollution by at least 30% by 2020
• Move Australia beyond coal and gas towards renewable energy, using a Renewable Energy Target
• Put a price and limit on carbon emissions

» You can sign the letter here:


AYCC’s Safe Climate Roadmap

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition’s roadmap to a safe climate is a list of three key climate action objectives our leaders need to commit to:

• Reduce our pollution by at least 40% by 2020
• Invest in a transition to 100% renewable energy over the next 10 years
• Move Australia beyond coal and gas

» You can add your signature here:


The Energy Reality Pledge

“I’m ready for an energy reality that: 
• Prioritizes reducing overall demand for energy through efficiency and curtailment.
 • Treats fossil fuels like the valuable, limited resources they are. 
• Shifts from centralized non-renewable energy supplied by unaccountable multinationals to decentralized renewable energy produced by communities. 
• Minimizes the environmental and social impacts of this transition.”

» You can take the pledge here:


Fund Community Energy

Calling on the federal government to establish a $50 million grant program to support the development stage of community renewable energy projects. By signing this petition you can help make community energy a reality.

» You can sign the petition here:


70 companies sign the ‘Trillion Tonne Communiqué’

Leading global companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, BT and Adidas have called on governments to cap cumulative carbon emissions below 1 trillion metric tonnes, in a bid to contain rising temperatures.

» If you own a business, you can sign this communique here:

Read more:

» Bloomberg – 8 April 2014:
Shell, Unilever Seek 1 Trillion-Ton Limit on CO2 Output

» Infographic: The Global Carbon Budget

» Source:

» If you own a business, you can sign this communique here: