The world’s first carbon neutral city

Between 2007 – the year South Australia established its climate change legislation and released its first climate change strategy – and 2013 the City of Adelaide has reduced its emissions by 20%. At the same time the city’s economy grew by 28%.

Not content with its impressive record, Adelaide released in 2015 its Carbon Neutral Adelaide vision with the aim of being the world’s first carbon neutral city. The vision set out a range of areas the City of Adelaide would focus on in reducing emissions including:

  • Building partnerships and encouraging community action on climate initiatives
  • Investing in energy efficiency and renewables in the city
  • Transforming transportation to and from the city
  • Reducing emissions from waste
  • Investing in large-scale renewables across the state
  • Offsetting carbon emissions
Adelaide on the way to carbon neutrality

Adelaide on the way to carbon neutrality

The world’s first carbon neutral city

To action this vision, Adelaide has released its Carbon Neutral Action plan for the next 5 years in which the city lays out how it will reduce emissions across the focus areas. Examples of initiatives the city will undertake include:

  • Piloting a carbon neutral schools program to encourage community action on climate initiatives
  • Enabling access to solar systems and improved energy efficiency for low-income and rental households by installing up to 300 solar systems by 2017
  • Installing on-street electric vehicle (EV) and electric bicycle recharging points and pilot an EV parking space system by 2018
  • Continuing the Sustainability Incentives Scheme that provides rebates for homeowners, businesses and community organizations installing water and energy devices to conserve water, energy and natural resources
  • Developing a state carbon sequestration strategy
  • Trialing a city precinct where businesses and catering companies use reusable and compostable takeaway food and beverage containers

The take-out

To become carbon neutral cities can use a variety of innovative policy tools to lower emissions.

*Robert C. Brears is the author of Urban Water Security (Wiley). Urban Water Security argues that, with climate change and rapid urbanization, cities need to transition from supply-side to demand-side management to achieve urban water security.

Facebook: UrbanH20


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Author: Robert C. Brears

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