Reports highlight success of local government action
Written by Network member: Milly Bartlett, ICLEI
Two reports released late last year demonstrate the leadership role that Australian local governments are playing in addressing the challenges of climate change and sustainable water management.
Through two of ICLEI Oceania's programs delivered to local governments in Australia – Cities for Climate Protection® (CCP®) Australia and the Water Campaign™ – councils are taking impressive action to build resilient ecosystems.
ICLEI Oceania is the regional secretariat for ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of cities, local governments and regional organisations that share a common goal – creating long-term, sustainable change through local action. ICLEI Oceania focuses on measurable results and capacity building, supporting councils to identify and achieve their sustainability goals.
There are currently 238 councils in CCP Australia, representing over 84% of the national population. Of these councils, 184 advanced councils reported on the mitigation actions they're putting into place throughout council operations and in their communities. The 2008 Cities for Climate Protection Measures Evaluation Report revealed record savings of 4.7 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions in 2007/08.
CCP councils reported greenhouse gas savings through actions such as retrofitting council buildings to improve energy efficiency, purchasing renewable electricity, switching to more efficient vehicles in their fleets and capturing and burning methane at council-managed waste facilities. In the community, reported actions included educating local businesses about climate change and energy efficiency through events and workshops, working with schools to improve energy efficiency and distributing free or subsidised equipment such as energy efficient light globes to residents.
CCP Australia is the only program measuring cumulative abatement actions at the local level for a whole nation and Australia's collective results are already encouraging other countries in our region to take up our local action approach.
Wayne Wescott, ICLEI Oceania CEO, stressed the importance of measuring and reporting successes: 'Since 1998, in collaboration with local government, the release of 18 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions has been prevented and we are seeing similar success with our water management campaign.'
The first annual Water Campaign™ Actions Report highlights some of the actions of local governments to improve their sustainable water management. More than 120 Australian councils currently participate in the program. Twenty-four of these councils contributed information to the report, which reported savings of over 1.3 gigalitres of water through actions such as irrigation systems, use of low-water vegetation, more efficient use of pools, new technologies in showers and toilets, and the recovery of stormwater.
The report also identified over 200 actions on water quality, including implementing litter traps, water sensitive urban design, sediment control, and groundwater and nutrient management approaches.
ICLEI Oceania applauds the efforts of the councils taking part in CCP and the Water Campaign™ and looks forward to continued partnership as the sector embraces an adaptation approach to climate change.
The Cities for Climate Protection Measures Evaluation Report and Water Campaign™ Actions Report are available from the ICLEI Oceania website.
For more information about the reports, programs or ICLEI Oceania, contact Milly Bartlett, Communications and Web Coordinator, Email: email@example.com or phone 03 9660 2246.
The CCP Australia program is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of the Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts. The Water Campaign™ is delivered by ICLEI Oceania in collaboration with local and state governments, water authorities and the Australian Government.
- ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability: www.iclei.org
- ICLEI Oceania: www.iclei.org/oceania
- Cities for Climate Protection Australia: www.iclei.org/ccp-au
- Water Campaign™: www.iclei.org/oceania/water