Blue Mountains Council part of western Sydney councils; push to reduce carbon emissions

Blue Mountains City Council has joined nine western Sydney councils to launch a new strategy to slash emissions and boost energy savings for a more sustainable, affordable energy future.

Coordinated by the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), the Western Sydney Energy Program (WSEP) aims to reduce western Sydney's emissions by 200,000 tonnes of CO2e reductions each year.

This is in line with council's own carbon abatement action plan from 2017 which brings in projects that reduce carbon emissions and operational costs.

Ward 1 Cr and WSROC junior vice president Don McGregor said council was taking definitive action on climate change with its own strategies and by joining WSROC's new energy program.

"In September 2019 council adopted the target of becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2025, as measured through the national carbon offset standard (NCOS) certification process," Cr McGregor said.

"To meet this target, we must measure our organisation's carbon emissions, reduce emissions as far as feasible, and then purchase carbon offsets that equal our remaining emissions so our net carbon emissions to the atmosphere are zero."

The Western Sydney Energy Program focuses on four key areas: renewable energy, transport infrastructure, supporting communities and implementing best practice in energy planning and design for buildings and precincts.

Photo: Mayor Mark Greenhill with Councillor Don McGregor.

Photo: Mayor Mark Greenhill with Councillor Don McGregor.

Council's carbon plan projects for 2019-20 include: replacement of old inefficient lighting with LED's across street lights and council facilities; and installation of 289 kW of roof top solar panels across a number of council facilities.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: "It seems clear the single most important thing we can do to stop climate change is reduce emissions, and as the third council in NSW to declare a climate emergency, it's an issue we take very seriously."

Councils that participate in the program are: Blacktown , Cumberland, Fairfield , Hawkesbury, The Hills, Lithgow, Liverpool and Parramatta.

The Western Sydney Energy Program will build on other successful WSROC projects, including Light Years Ahead, Turn Down the Heat and the Regional Waste Strategy.