Inspriation from cities like Melbourne and Canberra in Australia and Portland in USA. Cities that lead by example
City of Melbourne asks: “What if…”
“What if 50 per cent of the municipality’s electricity came from renewable sources?
What if we didn’t waste the 10 per cent of energy that is lost in grid transmission and doesn’t even make it to the end user? And what if the electricity network made it easy to connect diverse renewable energy sources to the grid?
What if we reduce the city’s buildings energy use by 40 per cent by having as standard practice that all buildings are upgraded regularly to ensure they are as energy efficient as possible? And all new buildings used leading technology, design and materials for improved sustainability outcomes.
What if each business and each individual took responsibility for their own activities being carbon neutral?
What if the city assisted this process? Would it really cost that much?
If we were to offset our emissions today it would cost an average of $467 per resident per year, $130 per worker or $2,655 per business. Some of us are already doing it.
Could we get to zero? Is this future so unimaginable?
These are the big game changing ideas that are very difficult to achieve, but not impossible. We can’t do it alone, and neither can any individual, business, or government entity. But by working together it is achievable.
Over the next four years City of Melbourne will work to explore these possibilities, in collaboration with key organisations and sectors, through establishing effective networks to take action.”
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Excerpt from ‘Zero Net Emissions by 2020 – Update 2014’ on page 3, ‘How could we get to a zero net emissions city by 2020?’
» Download the publication ‘Zero Net Emissions by 2020 – Update 2014’ published by City of Melbourne:
What if City of Greater Geelong Council began to not only ask similar questions as City of Melbourne, but sided with Melbourne in creating a similarly bold strategy for Geelong? – one which creates a sustainable future and a way forward for our city
The ACT government shows leadership in the renewables sector
In November 2013, the Government of the Australian Capital Territory (abbreviated ACT) legislated an ambitious target to source 90 per cent of the Territory’s power from renewable sources by 2020, a quarter which will come from wind energy.
ACT’s scheme demonstrates that the cost of transitioning to clean renewable energy is entirely manageable: the cost of their ambitious policy is about $4 per household per week which then is offset by about $4 per household per week due to energy efficiency schemes that are currently being deployed. The ACT Government helps Canberran citizens reduce their energy consumption and use more renewable energy.
“What I’m most excited about is showing people that this is possible. People can’t do what they can’t imagine, and the opportunity here in the ACT is to demonstrate what can actually be achieved, and what you can do and that it is affordable and that it is achievable, and that if a small place like the ACT can do it, surely the rest of Australia can,” Simon Corbell, ACT’s energy minister told ABC Radio.
“Addressing climate change requires a global commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and is a shared responsibility that all countries and communities must embrace,” Mr Corbell is quoted as saying in a press release released in November 2013.
The goal is to have a 40 per cent reduction of 1990 carbon emission levels by 2020, and 80 per cent reduction by 2050.
RenewEconomy – 19 September 2012:
ACT government seeks 90% renewables by 2020
The ACT government has outlined an ambitious plan to source 90 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2020, with solar, wind and energy efficiency at the centrepiece of its strategy.
ACT Government – November 2013:
90 percent renewable
Government News – 7 March 2014:
Canberra to build solar hub to boost renewable energy
The Australian Capital Territory government has geared up to build an “innovation precinct” to prepare the nation’s capital for research and development into solar energy technology.
How Portland is doing it
Portland’s 2009 Climate Action Plan set out to cut citywide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.
Portland in Oregon, USA, is a city with 600,000 residents with around two million people living in its near surroundings, the so-called Portland metropolitan area.
As a result of people, businesses and organisations taking actions every day for decades, carbon emissions in Portland are already down 26 percent per person compared to 1990-levels.
Portland’s Climate Action Plan assumes that, to achieve its goals, the average Portlander would have to drive 30 percent less in 2030 than she did in 2008, resulting in an overall 5 percent reduction in vehicle-miles traveled. As part of that reduction, Portlanders would get to work in the following ways:
- 26 percent by driving alone (down from 66 percent in 2008)
- 31 percent by biking (up from 8 percent in 2009)
- 26 percent by mass transit, including TriMet, Portland Streetcar, C-Tran and Portland Aerial Tram (up from 15 percent in 2009)
- 10 percent by carpooling (up from 8 percent in 2009)
- 8 percent by walking (up from 4 percent in 2009)
The fastest area of growth, therefore, would be biking to work, which would become the city’s single most popular commute option.
» Read more on: www.portlandafoot.org
» See the latest updates on: www.portlandoregon.gov