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Lord Mayor for the City of Sydney Clover Moore pledged on Tuesday to propel the council’s net-zero emissions goal by five years to 2035, with new targeted programs to manage energy consumption, transport emissions and plastic and food waste. 

In a 2021-25 environmental strategy presentation, Moore told council members that climate science has revealed for a long time that Australia must speed up its efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

She said she wants the City of Sydney — the central business district of Sydney and its surrounding inner city suburbs — to be a driving force for emissions reductions and promised $24 million would be spent over four years to meet the goals, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. 

"While the City of Sydney cannot tackle the climate crisis alone, we can lead and encourage others to do the same within their communities,” Moore said in a City of Sydney press release.

In 2007, the City of Sydney became the first local government in the country to reach carbon neutrality.

Last year, all City-owned properties, including streets lights and pools, started running on 100% renewable energy for the first time. 

This year, Moore said the council would meet its 2008 target of reducing operational emissions by 70% by 2030, nine years earlier than originally targeted.

The achievement will see the target reached three years quicker than predicted just last year.

“We’re leading by example to tackle the climate crisis, and reaching net-zero as soon as possible is the next step,” Moore said. 

To reach the net-zero emissions goal in the next 15 years, Moore said she would work to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by “encouraging businesses, residents and other organisations to use renewable energy sources and opt for 100% GreenPower electricity plans.”

The City will also promote public transport, electric vehicles, walking and cycling, and the food scraps recycling initiative.

The City of Sydney’s announcement comes a little over a week after Australia’s Victoria state made the much-anticipated decision to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, with an interim target of 28% to 33% of 2005 level by 2025.

The state aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Australia’s nationwide emissions target remains at a reduction of 26% to 28% by 2030. 

The City's new emissions targets are expected to be debated by the council next week, before opening to public debate.


Defend the Planet

City of Sydney Speeds Up Net-Zero Emissions Plan to 2035

By Madeleine Keck