(28/11/2019) Removing red tape for green power the key to a low carbon future
Overcoming regulatory obstacles limiting the take up of renewable energy and greater investment in public transport are just some of the issues raised by the City of Fremantle in its submission to the state government about climate change.
In September the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson called for Western Australians to have their say on the ‘Climate Change in Western Australia’ issues paper.
The paper identifies 11 focus areas including industry innovation, future mobility, water security, protecting biodiversity, and regional prosperity.
Public submissions will help shape the State Climate Policy, which is due for release next year and help guide the state's transition to a low carbon future.
Acting Fremantle Mayor Andrew Sullivan said the council strongly supported the development of a State Climate Change Policy to set a credible trajectory towards net zero carbon emissions by, or preferably before, 2050.
“There is a clear need to address regulatory issues that limit the ability of local government authorities to purchase renewable energy,” Acting Mayor Sullivan said.
“At the moment the cost of purchasing green power from Synergy and other retailers is significantly more than conventional power, and the current limits on contestability in the WA energy market restrict options for local governments to seek competitively priced energy, including green power.
“We also need to resolve the infrastructure issues that limit the current capacity of the grid to support renewable energy uptake, and there is the need for the state to establish clear and robust renewable energy targets and a coherent approach to shifting the grid to renewable energy.”
The City of Fremantle’s submission also calls for greater investment to transition away from car dependence and support the use of public transport, walking, cycling and other sustainable transport modes.
Other issues raised include the need to more effectively address the heat island effect by supporting the conservation and expansion of urban tree canopy, stronger promotion of sustainable and energy efficient development through urban design and construction standards and the need to be more proactive to address the risks of coastal erosion and inundation due to sea level rise and increased severity and frequency of storms.
In May this year the Fremantle Council joined governments around the world in declaring a climate emergency and calling for urgent action by all levels of government to address climate change.
The City of Fremantle’s One Planet Strategy includes commitments to reduce carbon emissions, encourage sustainable transport options and protect local flora and fauna.
In line with its preference for locally sourced green power, the City is working with Australian renewable energy company Epuron to establish a 4.9 megawatt solar farm on the former South Fremantle landfill site.