ZERO CITY EMISSIONS BY 2040
Sydney City will be emissions neutral within 20 years.
The accelerated target towards zero emission by 2040 is part of the Sustainable Sydney 2050 plan.
Sydney with its high per capita emissions and GDP has taken on the task of reducing emissions steeper and sooner.
City administrators cite “the link between climate change, drought and bushfires is irrefutable, yet the Federal Government neither prepared our nation for this climate disaster nor responded accordingly to our community’s urgent calls for action.”
The City’s new emissions reduction targets are based on carbon budgeting methodology, which states that faster carbon reductions result in higher probability of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
If applied to Sydney, the methodology suggests that net zero should be achieved well before 2050.
Australian cities are responsible for more than 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008 the city set a goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.
Sydney in 2007 was the first national city to establish a carbon neutral council, which was certified in 2011.
Following the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, the city set an even more ambitious goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050. By 2017 Sydney had reduced emissions from its own operations by 25 per cent and worked with other administrators in the greater Sydney area to reduce emissions city-wide by 21 per cent. During this time the economy grew by 37.5 per cent.
“In 2019, the same year the City Council declared a climate emergency, an agreement was signed for the city to reduce carbon emissions by 70 per cent in 2030
New emissions targets as set out in a report outline the proposed environment and resilience components of Sustainable Sydney 2050.
Successive Federal Governments have presided over policies while Australia’s emissions have gone up since 2014.
The federal environment ministry has the power to transition the country away from reliance on fossil fuels and to deliver electricity that is clean, reliable and affordable.
The City Council has demanded that the Federal Government take urgent action on climate change.
Australia has experienced debilitating drought conditions and an unprecedented bushfire season that has claimed lives, homes and native animals, and destroyed local communities.