Though state and federal governments don’t appear to be taking climate change seriously, it seems at a local level, things are very different.
Several local councils were yesterday awarded top honours for their work on the climate change frontline, at the inaugural Cities Power Partner Summit Awards.
The awards, held in Kiama, New South Wales, are part of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership National Summit, recognised the unsung work of the climate heroes in local governments across the country, who are quietly transforming Australia’s energy landscape.
Lismore Council was one the recipients winning the Community Engagement Achievement Award for the new floating solar farm on Wyrallah Road.
Lismore Community Solar was launched on January 31 this year at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant – it is Australia’s largest floating solar farm.
The Lismore Community Solar initiative is a partnership between Lismore City Council and community solar energy facilitator Farming the Sun, to break new ground in working with communities to fund renewable energy projects that power Council facilities.
Alix Pearce is the director of the Cities Power Partnership, which is Australia’s largest local government climate alliance. Ms Pearce says the range of climate solutions coming out of Australia’s councils was staggering.
‘The local climate solutions on display at these awards are tangible proof that Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change,’ she said.
‘From supporting local schools to save thousands on their power bills through solar energy to developing Australia’s largest floating solar farm, Cities Power Partnership councils are leading the way with practical local climate solutions.’
Ms Pearce says that it’s these local heroes who are stepping up and getting the job done in the face of continuing Federal climate inaction. ‘It’s time to celebrate these quiet achievers, who are working at the climate frontline and helping their communities to drive down local greenhouse gas pollution.’
The Cities Power Partnership Awards celebrated outstanding work from local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and community advocacy, as well as individual climate champion awards.
The Cities Power Partnership is a free national program created by the Climate Council that celebrates and accelerates the pollution reduction and clean energy successes of Australia in towns and cities.
Full list of awards:
Renewable Energy Achievement Award
Winner: Solar my School – Three Council Program from Randwick, Waverley & Woollahra Councils (New South Wales)
Energy Efficiency Achievement
Winner: Newcastle Museum Energy upgrade – The City of Newcastle (New South Wales)
Sustainable Transport Achievement Award
Winner: Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan 2018-21 – ACT Government
Community Engagement Achievement Award
Winner: Floating solar farm – Lismore City Council (New South Wales)
Knowledge Sharing Award
Winner: South East NSW Councils buddy group (New South Wales)
CPP Ambassador Award
Winner: Clr Ken Keith, Mayor, Parkes Shire Council (New South Wales)