Carbon neutral in five years

Article image - Carbon neutral in five years Federal Member for Flinders and Minister for the Environment Hon. Greg Hunt MP; Mornington Peninsula Shire Councillor Hugh Fraser; Prime Minister Hom. Malcolm Turnbull MP; Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Graham Pittock at the COP 21 conference in Paris December, 2015.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has adopted a Carbon Neutral Policy that sets out a five-year plan towards zero emissions.

Shire Mayor, Councillor Graham Pittock, said the policy provides a framework for the Shire to achieve formal carbon neutrality accreditation within five years of the policy’s adoption.These actions will return a financial payback to the Shire and its community.

“The policy sets out how the Shire manages greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations and ensures that its net emissions are equal to zero or better annually.

“It complements the range of policies, strategies, and plans currently in place to address climate change and the built environment, reinforcing a robust approach to investment in emission reduction before offsetting remaining carbon emissions.”

The policy will inform Council decisions that have an impact on the Shire’s level of greenhouse gas emissions and inform new Shire policies or existing policies as they are reviewed.

The Shire’s approach to achieving carbon neutrality will involve: greenhouse gas emission reduction actions; consideration of efficient technologies where greenhouse gas emissions can not be avoided; offsets for any remaining emissions through projects within the Shire’s boundaries; community engagement to support community resilience; investigating new technologies and best practice approaches; and annual review of the policy.

Councillor Pittock said the Shire will develop programs and procedures to implement the policy including a five-year implementation plan, reviewed annually.

“Working towards carbon neutrality is a complex and long-term commitment that has the potential to provide both wide-scale community benefit and local environment improvement.

“There has been a clear, strong support from the community for the Shire’s approach, policy and planned actions throughout the engagement process.

“Council is committed more than ever to working towards achieving carbon neutrality for our community and our environment.”

The Shire will seek formal accreditation through the National Carbon Offset Standard administered by the federal government.

A new Climate Change, Energy and Water unit will be responsible for leading the Shire towards carbon neutrality and long-term climate change resilience across the community and organisation.