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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

18 July 2002

Local Councils Leading on Greenhouse Action

Federal Member for Murray and Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, today attended a Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia Recognition Ceremony for Victorian Councils at Shepparton. The ceremony celebrated the achievements of Local Government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Australian local governments are among the most proactive in the world for reducing greenhouse gas emissions - 150 councils, representing over 60 percent of the Australian population, have signed on to the Cities for Climate Protection™ Australia Program to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Cities for Climate Protection™ (CCP™) program is an innovative international program, which assists local governments and their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr Stone said.

CCP™ Australia is a world leader, having the fastest uptake over the last three years and the highest number of participating councils of any CCP™ program worldwide. Through the Cities for Climate Protection Program, local councils have an opportunity to draw on international expertise and world best practice to develop effective greenhouse solutions at a local level.

“Today’s ceremony is all about recognising that it is not only our urban councils showing leadership on greenhouse issues, rural and regional local governments are demonstrating innovative, sustainable and practical actions to protect the planet” Dr Stone said.

This joint initiative of the Howard Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is backed by $13 million in Commonwealth funding and is based on achieving milestones.

Councils join the Program with a ‘Declaration’ before moving to achieve Milestones beginning with identifying their emissions, setting a greenhouse gas reduction goal, developing and implementing an action plan to achieve that goal and measuring their success.

“Actions can range from trialing alternative fuels for use in council vehicles to installing timer switches on air conditioning and even tree planting programs”, Dr Stone said.

“Central Goldfields Shire Council, for instance, has set a target of planting a tree for each resident within their local government boundary. One hectare of trees can absorb up to 35 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 12 months, making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions”.

“The Program is an excellent example of practical steps that can be taken to reduce greenhouse emissions by Local Government. It is great to see so many councils progressing through the program, and I encourage rural and regional councils to continue their outstanding contribution”.

* A list of the Councils being recognised is attached.

For further information;
Simon Frost - Dr Stone’s office - 0419 495 468

Cities for Climate Protection Milestone Recognition Ceremony - Central Victoria

Milestones in Brief:

Milestone 1: Prepare an emissions inventory and estimate emissions growth

Milestone 2: Establish an emissions reduction goal

Milestone 3: Developing a local action plan

Milestone 4: Implementing the local action plan

Milestone 5: Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the local action plan

Commonwealth of Australia