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Net Zero Emissions

Achieving Net  Zero Emissions

Council is committed to becoming a net zero emissions organisation by 2050, if not sooner. During the development of the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan (2017- 2036), our community told us of their desire to live sustainably and reduce their ecological footprint.

In response to this, Council has already implemented a number of sustainability measures for its own operations, including:

  • Hawkesbury City Solar Project
  • LED Street Lighting Upgrade
  • 10 Year Power Purchasing Agreement:

Hawkesbury City Council Net Zero Emissions and Water Efficiency Strategy

Council adopted the Hawkesbury City Council Net Zero Emissions and Water Efficiency Strategy at its Ordinary Meeting on 30 March 2021. The Strategy outlines a plan to guide Council, and the community to achieve emissions and water reductions across Council’s operations and the broader local government area. The Strategy will assist to deliver a climate resilient community with economic benefits for Council and the community through decreased operational costs and environmental benefits. The implementation of this Strategy requires collaboration and coordination across Council, and stakeholders, including residents, businesses and state government agencies.

The adopted Strategy can be viewed here.

The Strategy involved technical analysis of the emissions sources, population projections and the development and implementation of the actions referenced in the  Strategy. The following targets for emissions reductions and water efficiency have been adopted:

Council Operations:

  • Net Zero Emissions by 2030 or earlier
  • No net increase in potable water use (Sydney Water Mains)
  • All non-potable water demand to be serviced using recycled water

The Hawkesbury Community:

  • 25% reduction in emissions relative to FY2016/2017 baseline by 2028
  • 60% reduction in emissions relative to FY2016/2017 baseline by 2036
  • Net Zero Emissions by 2050 through strategies and carbon offsets
  • No net increase in water use relative to FY2016/2017 baseline by 2028
  • Under 5% increase in water use relative to FY2016/2017 baseline by 2036
  • Under 25% increase in water use relative to FY2016/2017 baseline by 2050

The Strategy covers 6 Strategies towards a net zero resilient Hawkesbury, including:

  • A more resilient and renewable powered grid
  • Greener suburbs and better design
  • Low carbon and local transport
  • Towards a zero-waste community
  • Drought resilient, green centres
  • Council leading by example

Why Net-Zero Emissions By 2050?

In December 2015, 195 countries, including Australia, agreed on the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change. For the first time in history, both developed and developing countries have committed to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide they emit.

The Paris Agreement aims to limit temperature increases to no more than a 1.5 Degree Celsius and achieve net zero emissions by the second half of the 21st Century, with the expectation that developed countries will take the lead.

The NSW Government has a target of net zero emissions by 2050, and in March this year released a strategy “Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030” which outlines the NSW Government’s plan to grow the economy, create jobs and reduce emissions over the next decade.

Local Government, has a role to play, and Hawkesbury City Council is determined to meet the objective of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, by driving action and innovation across the community to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

What is Climate Change?

The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in Earth's atmosphere trap the Sun's heat. This process makes Earth much warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is one of the things that makes Earth a comfortable place to live.

NASA Global Climate Change

Reference: NASA Global Climate Change

Human activities are changing Earth's natural greenhouse effect. Burning fossil fuels like coal and oil puts more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.

Around the world scientists have observed increases in the amount of carbon dioxide and some other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Too much of these greenhouse gases can cause Earth's atmosphere to trap more and more heat. This causes Earth to warm up.

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