The City of Melbourne, Australia has committed to three climate declarations – Better Futures Australia, Edinburgh, and C40 Renewable Energy – to help alleviate and adapt to climate change. The four-year council plan intends to take action to reduce emissions and waste, protect public health, and strengthen the economy.
Melbourne’s Darebin Council made history in 2016 when it became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency. This led the city to take a number of actions, including changing their procurement practices, resurfacing roads with an asphalt made of 95% recycled materials, introducing a Solar Saver scheme where residents can install solar panels and pay for them through their monthly utility payments over a number of years, and starting a food waste recycling service for their residents.
The Better Futures Australia declaration has four goals:
- actions to limit average global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels;
- inspiring Australians to realise zero emissions opportunities;
- advocating for a national response; and,
- working together, alongside and in partnership with governments to support the delivery of the Paris Agreement.
The Edinburgh Declaration seeks recognition of the critical role of local governments in achieving the vision defined in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It focuses on the need for immediate and increased efforts to mobilise financial resources at all levels of government and the private sector to deliver biodiversity actions.
The C40 Renewable Energy declaration puts cities front and center for achieving the goal of 100% decarbonised energy systems. Its purpose is to raise urban ambition on energy, accelerate renewable energy deployment, and harness the collective power of cities to influence global action on climate change.
“We know climate change is a serious challenge and it’s vital we come together to have these important discussions as we look to the future for our city,” said Sally Capp, lord mayor of Melbourne. “We were the first capital city council in Australia to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, and we have an ambition for the entire municipality to be zero emissions by 2040.”