Two Australian Councils internationally recognised for climate action
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in Victoria and City of Joondalup in Western Australia have achieved full compliance with an international standard that measures local government action on climate change.
The two councils belong to the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of city leaders, launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg.
Eleven Australian councils are currently members of the Compact of mayors: Adelaide, Australian Central Territory, Byron Shire, Hobart, Joondalup, Melbourne, Moreland, Mornington Penisula Shire, Perth Port Phillip, Sydney.
Councils that sign up to the coalition are expected to complete a comprehensive climate planning and action process within three years.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and City of Joondalup have "fast-tracked" their way to compliance in a matter of months and are now undergoing a final audit against the international standard.
City of Joondalup's Climate Change Strategy 2014-2019 was showcased at COP21, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard attended COP21 and said it is an honour for the City's Climate Change Strategy to be showcased to an audience of world leaders.
Mayor Pickard said planning for the future impacts of climate change is an important emerging issue for local government and the effects will be felt in the City of Joondalup.
"Climate change affects a number of areas that local government is responsible for managing including infrastructure, health services, water management, emergency management and the natural environment.
"By 2070, it is anticipated the City of Joondalup will have hotter, drier and windier summers with the number of days over 35°C nearly doubling. Winters will be drier, warmer and less windy as a result of fewer low pressure systems.”
The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council also has a history of dedicated climate action over the past decade.
The Shire is capturing methane gas from the Rye landfill and converting this to electricity to power around 1400 homes; downsizing Council's vehicle fleet; and undertaking local renewable energy projects such as the purchase of solar power for 11 community halls and installing solar street lights.
Mayor Graham Pittock said the opportunity for Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to be represented at the Cities and Regions Pavilion during COP21 in Paris was invaluable.
"This historic event, which coincided with the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, helped ensure that the voices of local leaders are heard, and city efforts, like those here at Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, are recognised.
"As a Compact of Mayors city, we were able to share our key initiatives with our counterparts from around the world."