Global report backs City action on climate change

Global report backs City action on climate change

The City’s community-driven mission to cut carbon emissions has been backed by the latest United Nations report, which confirms human activity is contributing to climate change and the planet is getting hotter.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment report forecasts there is only a short window of opportunity to act on global warming.

The IPCC report declares that warming will continue with rising sea levels and diminishing amounts of snow and ice and states that limiting climate change will require ‘substantial and sustained’ reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is the biggest challenge of our time, which is why the City has already stepped up to take urgent action against climate change,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We are getting on with the job of trying to safeguard the future for our children and grandchildren.”

“We have the most ambitious emissions reductions target of any Australian government – to cut emissions 70 per cent by 2030, on 2006 levels – and we’re on track or ahead on most.”

In the past year alone, the City’s sustainability achievements include:

  • Completing 95% energy and water retrofit of 45 of the City’s major buildings;
  • Replacing 2,620 lights with LEDs as part of a total rollout of 6,450 new lights, which will save $800,000 a year in electricity bills and maintenance a year and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 45 per cent;
  • Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) on major buildings such as Redfern Oval Grandstand, Sydney Park pavilion and Paddington Town Hall with savings of  307,320 kWh (kilowatt hours) a year;
  • Reducing carbon emissions by 2,304 tonnes from the City’s fleet;
  • Recruiting 106 new businesses to the Smart Green Business Program. This year members saved 3,255 tonnes carbon emissions and diverted 2,120 tonnes waste from landfill; and
  • Increasing the number of businesses participating in the City Switch Green Office program which covers 1,926,307 metres square office floor space across the city.

This week, the City’s efforts were praised by world renowned environmentalist David Suzuki, who said the war on carbon will be won in our cities where the majority of the world’s population live.

The IPCC’s latest findings backed the City’s long-term environmental actions in its Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan, which was compiled after the most comprehensive community consultation program in the Council’s history.

“These targets were prepared in direct response to calls from the community to address climate change,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We will continue to work with residents, businesses and other levels of government to ensure our City remains a global leader in the fight against climate change.”

“We have reached a critical decade and as the IPCC report states, the time to act is now,” the Lord Mayor said.

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Claire Thompson, phone 0408 414 376 or

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matt Levinson 0427 044 768 or