Climate Action

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We are in a critical decade for action on climate change and cities are at the forefront of responding to a changing climate and the systematic shocks that will be faced in the future. To meet the challenges of a climate emergency, take advantage of the economic opportunities from meeting emissions targets and create a net zero emissions city, it will take collective action, commitment and leadership from all sectors of the community.

The Newcastle Climate Action Plan (2021-2025) sets the roadmap for achieving emission reduction both within the City of Newcastle (CN) operations and across the broader community, to support a future net zero emission Newcastle.

Reducing our Corporate Emissions

We have long recognised the importance of its role as a city leader and the value of sharing its experiences with others, so that they too, may utilise this knowledge to improve sustainability in their own operations. CN's leadership is illustrated by acting as a first-mover to deploy and demonstrate new and emerging technologies and policies. This leadership draws on our commitment to innovation and using technology to solve environmental issues in a local context.

By no later than 2030, City of Newcastle will reach Net Zero Emissions for its Operations.

By 2025 City of Newcastle will aim for:

  • A 20% reduction in electricity use, based on FY2019/20 consumption
  • 100% of all installed lighting to be LED or best practice equivalent
  • A 50% reduction in liquid fuel use, based on FY2019/20 consumption
  • A 50% reduction in carbon emissions for Operations

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Setting a goal for Net Zero Emissions, CN has built upon previous achievements, identified a detailed and achievable pathway to reduce our corporate emissions and set targets in line with the urgent action that the science is telling us must be undertaken to achieve rapid decarbonisation.

Climate Action timelineClick to view larger image.

We operate a large number of buildings, facilities, vehicles, plant and equipment which all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions across its operations. Achieving net zero emissions is both technologically and economically feasible, with much of the required technology and solutions readily available. It will however, take a sustained, strategic approach to ensure that while emissions reduction activities are undertaken, CN uses the best information available to make choices that lead and manage this transition without increasing its footprint in other areas.

Pathway to Net Zero Operational Emissions

Pathway to net zero graphWe are also committed to contributing towards achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have adopted the SDGs and New Urban Agenda as cornerstones for our planning. Read more about our Commitment to Sustainability.

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Community Emission Reduction

The second part of the Newcastle Climate Action Plan (2021-2025) is focused on how Newcastle as a whole, can track towards Net Zero Emissions in a practical way. It is also focused on taking advantage of the considerable economic opportunities that arise from a clean energy and low-emissions industry landscape. It is imperative that the CN accelerates this low carbon journey as soon as possible, given the scale of emissions associated with all sectors of the community. CN can address areas such as electricity and transport use where decarbonisation is already achievable, while beginning the groundwork and supporting emerging areas such as renewable hydrogen and zero-emission industries. This will pave the way for a resilient and thriving Net Zero Emission City.

Although CN does not itself account for a large portion of Newcastle's emissions, it has an important role to play in demonstrating how to operate more sustainably, share knowledge, enable action and encourage innovation and new industries. CN can also work collaboratively with other levels of government, business, industry and advocacy groups to ensure a managed transition that supports the community along the way and provides new and meaningful opportunities for work.

Towards a Net Zero Emissions City

Objective: To create a resilient city that reduces its share of emissions to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable future.

City Aspirational Goals for 2025

  • 30% reduction in city-wide emissions
  • 30% reduction in average daily electricity consumption
  • 10,000 registered electric vehicles
  • 100MW of new renewable generation capacity
  • 500GWh of new Renewable Power Purchase Agreements
  • Secure commitment from 20 of the Largest Newcastle Businesses to target Net Zero Emissions no later than 2030
  • 1 MW of new community renewable energy projects
  • And targeting Net Zero Emissions from Electricity 2030.

Like the CN plan for reducing operational emissions, the practical actions for community emission reduction sit under a number of key themes which are:

  • Low Emissions Development
  • Encouraging Clean Technology
  • Building a Low Carbon Circular Economy
  • Supporting an Electric Transport Future
  • Advancing New Zero Emission Industries

Having successfully navigated previous economic transformations, Newcastle must position itself to take full advantage of an emerging low carbon economy. Through supporting areas such as low emissions technologies, zero emission industries, renewable hydrogen and ammonia export hubs, green metal and minerals processing and large-scale renewables, Newcastle has the opportunity to be a leading global centre for clean technology innovation. Sharing knowledge, research and experience to drive down emissions in Newcastle and beyond will help deliver the community's vision for a smart, liveable and sustainable global city.

For further information on the Climate Action initiatives please contact our Sustainability Manager on 02 4974 2000 or