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January 21st, 2009
New study shows a drop in NSW emissions
A new report shows there has been a rise in greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria and Queensland over the past year, but a drop in New South Wales.
The environmental organisation, the Climate Group, tracks the level of greenhouse gas emissions across Australia's eastern states each year.
The report has found that across Victoria, NSW and Queensland annual emissions were 3.6 million tonnes higher in 2008 than in 2007. This is a rise of 1.3 per cent for the year.
Emissions in Victoria and Queensland rose in 2008, up 2.2 and 2.0 million tonnes respectively, while in NSW emissions fell by 0.5 million tonnes.
Compared with 2000 levels, emissions from energy-use were significantly higher across all states, collectively up 19 per cent. In 2008 the NSW Indicator was 25 per cent higher than equivalent 2000 emission, the Victorian Indicator was 6 per cent higher and the Queensland Indicator was 34 per cent higher.
The increase above equivalent 1990 levels is even more substantial. In Queensland it has risen 116 per cent, NSW it is up 30 per cent and in Victoria the rise has been 32 per cent.
Rupert Posner, Australian Director of The Climate Group, said the result was largely due to less petrol being sold in New South Wales.
"It's interesting that emissions from petroleum products actually went down in New South Wales while they went up in Victoria and Queensland," he said.
"One can only assume that petrol prices and the higher prices during 2008... had a bigger impact on the people who live in New South Wales as opposed to other states."
“Most of the increase in emissions in 2008 was from coal-fired generators in Queensland and Victoria, which both produced an extra 1.5 million tonnes each. This was 3.6 per cent more emissions from coal than in 2007 in Queensland and a 2.4 per cent increase in Victoria. In NSW, emissions from coal-fired electricity rose by 0.7 per cent or nearly half a million tonnes.”
Funding available for Victorian councils to implement \'green\' office program
The Victorian Government is seeking funding applications from councils to expand an innovative local government-led program that aims to help commercial office tenants reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The funding will allow the national ‘CitySwitch Green Office’ program to be delivered by four additional councils, or council partnerships, in the state. The City of Melbourne is the only Victorian council presently participating in the program.
To be eligible for funding, councils must meet criteria including: possessing a business district with a significant amount of commercial office space; and committing both financial and in-principle support to delivering the program over the three years beginning from July 1, 2009.
Selected applicants will be eligible to receive a maximum of $65,000 annually during the operation of the State Government-funded project to support the operation of the program within their municipalities.
Applications for funding close at 4pm on February 6, 2009. For more information about the funding program, and for details about how to submit an application for funding, visit here.
The ‘CitySwitch Green Office’ program, which was previously known as the 3CBDs program, was originally developed by New South Wales’ cities of Sydney, North Sydney and Parramatta.
A national roll-out of the program was undertaken in 2008 when the City of Melbourne, City of Perth, Adelaide City Council, and metropolitan Sydney’s Willoughby City Council all joined the program. For more information about the program, visit www.cityswitch.net.au.
All Tasmanian councils to undertake greenhouse gas emissions audits
All local governments in Tasmania are to undertake greenhouse gas emission audits following the signing of an agreement with the State Government.
According to the Tasmanian Government, the audit of the state’s 29 councils’ greenhouse gas emissions will be the first time in Australia that all the councils in a state will have their greenhouse gas emissions audited.
The audit of Tasmanian councils’ emissions follows the recent completion of an audit of all State Government departments’ emissions.
The agreement to undertake the emissions audit was signed by Mr Bartlett and Local Government Association of Tasmania President, Mike Gaffney, at a recent meeting of the Premier’s Local Government Council.
At the meeting Mr Bartlett and Cr Gaffney also signed an agreement committing the State Government and local government to communicating on issues of state-wide importance.
Many councils may have to participate in emissions trading due to landfills
As many as 400 council-managed landfills could meet the greenhouse gas emissions threshold that would require the local governments responsible for their management to participate in the national emissions trading scheme.
However, the number of landfills that exceed the threshold will ultimately be determined later this year when the Federal Government is expected to finalise the threshold figure for emissions generated by landfills.
According to the Rudd Government’s white paper for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), which it plans to commence in 2010, the emissions threshold for the manager of an operational landfill to be required to purchase emissions permits through the scheme will generally be 25,000 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually.
However, a lower threshold of 10,000 tonnes or more of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually will apply to landfills that are operating within a still-to-be-determined distance of one another.
Although an example of about an 80 km distance between landfills to trigger this lower emissions threshold for participation in the scheme is included in the white paper, it is unclear whether the Federal Government will adopt this figure when the scheme begins operating.
It is understood the details of this distance are scheduled to be contained in new regulations for the scheme to be released later in 2009 following further analysis by the Federal Department of Climate Change.
General Manager Marketing and Communications of waste company SITA Environmental Solutions, Mike Ritchie, says if the 80 km distance for the 10,000 tonne landfill emissions threshold is adopted by the Federal Government for the scheme, most medium to large landfills operating in Australia - a total of about 500 landfills - would be captured by the scheme.
According to Mr Ritchie, with local governments operating about 80% of landfills in Australia, it could reasonably be estimated that about 400 council-managed landfills may be captured by the scheme.
He says if the scheme does adopt the 80 km distance between landfills to trigger the lower emissions threshold, it is likely that all metropolitan landfills will be subject to the 10,000 tonne emissions threshold, while regional landfills would likely fall within the higher threshold of 25,000 tonnes of emissions annually. To view the CPRS white paper, visit here.
Energy efficiency initiatives save councils millions
Energy efficiency initiatives undertaken by councils involved in ICLEI Oceania’s Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program collectively saved their organisations and communities $22 million during 2007-2008 as a result of reduced energy costs.
The figures are contained in the CCP program's annual report, which shows participating councils also helped to save about 4.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases during 2007-2008.
The report finds that, during 2007-2008, participating councils saved almost 650,000 tonnes of corporate emissions from their buildings, waste, street lighting, vehicle fleets, and water and sewerage operations; and implemented a wide range of community initiatives that led to estimated savings of 4.1 million tones of emissions within their communities.
A total of 184 councils reported their greenhouse gas abatement actions through the CCP program during 2007-2008. In 2007-2008, the local governments that participated in the CCP program, and their external funding partners, spent $23 million on actions to reduce the councils’ corporate and community emissions.
According to the report, since participating CCP councils started reporting on their greenhouse gas abatement actions in 1998-1999, they have collectively saved 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gases, and have saved their organisations and communities $95 million through reduced energy costs. To view the report, visit here.
Meanwhile, ICLEI has also released its inaugural ‘Water Campaign Actions Report 2008’, which outlines a range of sustainable water management actions that are presently being undertaken by a selection of the 119 councils presently participating in the campaign.
It is anticipated the sustainable water management actions outlined in the report could be replicated by other local governments across Australia. To view the report, visit here.
Conferences & Events
Sixth Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment: “Sustainability Tools for a New Climate”
The sixth Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) will be held at the Langham Hotel in Melbourne from the 16 to 19 February 2009.
Internationally and in Australia, Life Cycle Assessment continues to grow both in the detail of application, and the breadth of assessment. At the same time many other tools and approaches are increasingly being used with LCA or incorporating different LCA aspects. It is now recognised that decision support for sustainability requires many players and approaches beyond traditional methodologies.
Workshops on 16 February will cover:
The conference will run from 17 – 19 February. The conference aims to build bridges between different environmental assessment methods that have a sustainability focus such as:
In addition, the conference aims to provide a forum for sharing LCA experience in different sectors such as:
International keynote speakers:
The conference is organised by Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society in conjunction with EPA Victoria.
For more information visit the conference website at www.alcas.asn.au or contact The Conference Organiser on 03 93492220.
Ozwater09 will gather together hundreds of water experts in Melbourne to chart the nation’s path to sustainable water management.
The Ozwater conference and exhibition, hosted by the Australian Water Association (AWA) in partnership with the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, will have the theme of ‘From Challenges to Solutions’.
Described as one of the largest water sector events in the southern hemisphere in 2009, the conference will be held on 16-18 March and will feature eminent speakers and delegates addressing a wide variety of critical water-related topics and showcase the latest developments and innovations in the water sector.
Leading local and international organisations, utilities, environment and resource agencies and groups from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States will be represented in these discussions and also provide invaluable international experience and perspectives.
Mr. Tom Mollenkopf, Chief Executive of the AWA said, “Ozwater has carved a reputation as being not only the leading water event on the Australian calendar, but also as a program that provides the highest quality presentations and speakers, critical opportunities for debate, and a multi-streamed program that is simply second-to-none.”
According to Mr Mollenkopf, Ozwater09 presents unique opportunities for the water sector and related industries. “As an independent and not-for-profit organisation, AWA has no ‘company line’ to toe, so the speakers and program provide a huge diversity of high-quality research and learning. The result of which is a respected, well-rounded and truly broad conference experience for delegates,” he said.
Several reports will be released to coincide with the conference, which also features plenary sessions, panel debates, facility tours and awards ceremonies in its full and varied program.
Speakers include Professor Mike Young, Professor In S. Kim who is currently a professor at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, as well as the Executive Director of the Centre for Seawater Desalination Plant (CSDP), UK-based environmental scientist, explorer and author Tim Jarvis, Maureen Stapleton, General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, and Peter Binney, Director of Sustainable Planning for Black & Veatch.
For more information on the Ozwater09 program and speakers, visit www.ozwater09.com.au
Melbourne Planning Summit
Tuesday 28 - Wednesday 29 April, 2009.
Zinc @ Federation Square, Melbourne
The Summit will provide an opportunity for discussion and review of latest developments in urban planning in Melbourne, as well as facilitating the exchange of ideas on how to achieve sustainable planning objectives.
The conference will cover issues including:
It will feature sessions on innovative urban partnerships and planning best practice case studies, as well as showcase planning strategies from other major cities to show how they are approaching the challenges of urban planning.
For more information about the Conference, or to register to attend, go to www.halledit.com.au/mps
The Conference agenda is available at http://www.halledit.com.au/mps/agenda
Or contact Denise McQueen on (03) 8534 5021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org