Changes to the earth's climate as a result of the greenhouse effect are becoming more evident. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that heats up the earth's surface, but the increase of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane in the earth's atmosphere is heating the earth much faster than before.
This warming of the earth is evident from observations of:
In recognition of the threat of climate change, Marrickville Council established a very ambitious target in 2001 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% on 1997 levels by 2010. In order to work towards this aspirational target a number of projects focused on energy and transport were, and continue to be, implemented to reduce the organisation's greenhouse gas emissions. Council's last greenhouse gas emissions assessment was undertaken in 2010. The assessment showed that while Council only achieved a 3% reduction on 1997 levels, there was a 24% reduction on business as usual emissions. Council has begun the process of setting a new greenhouse gas emissions target for 2021.
Stationary energy is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in NSW this is primarily a result of coal-fired electricity generation. Marrickville Council has adopted a position of opposing all new coal-fired power stations in NSW on the grounds that it is incompatible with mitigating dangerous climate change. Council supports investment in energy efficiency measures and renewable power sources.
Marrickville Council is reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency measures and investigating sources of renewable energy. As part of Council's Energy Saving Action Plan a number of initiatives have been implemented to reduce energy related greenhouse gas emissions:
Council's Major Projects will aim to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy saving projects have reduced Councils energy consumption steadily over the last four years.
Renewable energy, such as wind power, can help us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also represents an opportunity for the Marrickville community to take action to generate energy locally from a renewable source.
In early 2009 Council was approached by Aerogenesis Australia Pty Ltd (Aerogenesis) to investigate Tempe Lands as a potential site for an urban wind farm. Aerogenesis had identified Tempe Lands as a suitable site due to its access to a good wind resource. Aerogenesis has withdrawn its current interest in proposing an urban wind farm at Tempe Lands. While the concept of a small wind farm at Tempe is still of interest to Council, Aerogenesis has indicated that at this time they intend to focus on other priority projects.
Council is still striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy, such as wind power, is seen as an opportunity for the Marrickville community to take action to generate energy locally.
Transport and Peak Oil
One of Council's fuel efficient hybrid vehicles.
Transport is the second biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in NSW this is primarily from road transport.
Marrickville Council has demonstrated it's commitment to reducing transport related greenhouse gas emissions by signing the Oil Depletion Protocol and establishing an internal working group to reduce fuel consumption.
The Oil Depletion Protocol (ODP) was established to encourage a world wide reduction in the consumption of, and dependence upon, oil. The protocol is an international agreement designed to deliver these reductions in a collaborative way. Individuals, businesses, non-government organisations and governments have signed up to the ODP.
In August 2007 Marrickville Council became the first local Council in Australia to sign the Oil Depletion Protocol. As a signatory to the Oil Depletion Protocol, Council has committed to reducing its oil consumption by 3% per annum.
In the 2008-2009 financial year Council reduced oil consumption by over 6% on 2007-2008 levels. This has been achieved by reducing fuel and engine oil consumption through the following initiatives:
Council reports annually on fuel consumption as part of the Peak Oil Action Plan. Oil and fuel consumption has decreased over the last three years.