Councils progress on Climate Action

Published on 01 March 2024

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In 2019 Bellingen Shire Council declared a climate emergency. The declaration recognises that our Shire is being affected by climate impacts, particularly increasing sea level rise, bushfires, heat waves, severe storms, drought and floods and serves as a call to take urgent action in rapidly reducing our carbon emissions and responding to the threat of climate change.

More than one hundred councils around Australia have now declared or recognised the climate emergency. Together, these councils represent more than 11.4 million Australians calling for a rapid shift to a more resilient, zero-carbon society.

As part of the declaration Council prepared and adopted three key documents:
  • Our Corporate Carbon Plan which sets ambitious targets including:
    • 100% renewable energy by 2030
    • 45% emissions reduction by 2030 (based on 2009/10 levels)
    • Net zero emissions by 2040, and
  • Our Community Climate Action Plan which maps out Shire-wide initiatives taking place to reduce the community’s emissions and adapt to climate change.


Take a look at some of our achievements since the declaration:

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 Energy efficiency lighting across Council Buildings

Our lighting upgrades at 15 different facilities will have savings of approximately 294 tonnes of CO2-e per year.

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Installation of Solar on Council Buildings

We added 5 additional Council facilities, bringing our total solar PV installed to over 300 kW.

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Energy Efficient Street Lighting

Upgrades to the lights used in the Council's streetlights is predicted to save Council approximately $30,000 each year.

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Purchase of Greenpower

We have purchased 100% Greenpower for 81 small sites and 20% Greenpower for our 10 large sites which, combined with our solar PV systems, equates to approximately 47% of Council’s total electricity consumption coming from renewable sources.

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Emission reduction

So far we have reduced our emissions by 42% in the 2022/23 financial year.. However this is just 3% off Council’s target of a 45% reduction by 2030.

With more energy efficiency upgrades planned, a corporate Power Purchase agreement on the horizon and a focus on strategies for electrification of Council’s plant and fleet Council is optimistic of our ongoing local contribution to this global challenge.