Inner West Council in Sydney’s western region is taking the bull by the horns when it comes to climate and renewable and solar energy.
The Council has developed a strong proactive plan on energy and climate change. Mayor Darcy Byrne said in a media statement that the council’s newly elected government intends to “punch above its weight” on climate change and the environment.
Cr Byrne also said that Inner West plans to become a “laboratory” on renewable energy policy. This includes showing how the urban environment can be taken to a new level, through fossil fuel divestment and rooftop solar energy.
Inner West Council’s action plan on renewable energy
Inner West has already achieved 77% divestment from fossil fuels, and has committed to becoming 100% carbon neutral by 2023.
Council also intends to:
- Support the uptake of commercial and residential solar power.
- Investigate large-scale solar power programs, including solar gardens or community solar groups.
- Fit all new council buildings with solar PV and retrofit existing ones.
- Establish an Office of Renewable Energy Innovation.
The council has also pledged to join the Cities Power Partnership (CPP) – the recently launched free program developed by the Climate Council. CPP members pledge to increase renewable energy uptake in their regions and to reduce transport emissions. So far at least 35 councils have joined.
Stanmore Ward Councillor Anna York said Inner West is leading the way on climate change in the absence of state and federal government leadership. She believes the council can make a large-scale impact when it comes to the uptake of solar.
The council’s environmental policy is likely to make it a national leader in tackling climate change and supporting renewables. Council’s newly formed government is now seeking immediate implementation of its policy.
About Inner West Council
It covers an area of just over 35km2 and has a population of approximately 192,000, according to the 2016 Census.
The council is also part of the ‘Our Energy Future’ program, an initiative of councils in southern Sydney. The program supports households and organisations in reducing energy bills and also in installing solar power systems.