The local government of one Australia’s biggest regional cities – and the home to the country’s biggest steelworks operations – Wollongong City Council has agreed to target net zero emissions by 2030 for its own operations.
The Council voted unanimously in favour of the 2030 target on Monday night, and for the much more significant and ambitious target of zero emissions by 2050 for the entire local government area. The latter target will be reviewed in five years with a view to reducing the timeline from 2050 to 2030, in line with Council’s target.
For Wollongong, which hosts Bluescope’s Port Kembla steelworks, industry is by far and away the biggest contributor to the regional centre’s greenhouse gas emissions, at 70 per cent. Residential accounts for 25 per cent and council a tiny 5 per cent.
To meet the target for its own operations, Wollongong council says it will work to slash landfill emissions, which account for 85 per cent of the local government’s carbon footprint, including via plans to build a gas-to-power plant at the City’s Whytes Gully tip.
The Illawarra Mercury reports that the Wollongong Council has been negotiating directly with potential contractors to build a plant that would capture landfill gases and use them to make electricity at the facility.
“It is feasible to achieve (council-wide emissions) reductions of 50 per cent by 2030 by implementing landfill gas management systems,” a report to Council said in March.
Also under consideration is the development of a second 1MW renewable energy unit at Whytes Gully, the installation of solar panels across Council buildings and the adoption of “alternate fuel” vehicles, which council says could altogether deliver an 88 per cent reduction in emissions.
“Technological developments over the next 10 years will help Council reach 100 per cent,” a statement said.
To read the full story on RenewEconomy sister site, One Step Off The Grid, click here…