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% Click & Tweet! . 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 Click & Tweet! . 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
The world’s first carbon neutral city
To action this vision, Adelaide has released its Carbon Neutral Action plan Click & Tweet! 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
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.