Alexi Lynch and Shane Melotte
Over the last month we’ve attended local government conferences and events throughout Australia where setting climate targets has been high on the agenda – including greenhouse reduction targets, renewable energy targets, energy efficiency targets and the most recent trend, science-based targets. This has been impacted by some other big changes in council land around the ongoing quest for accurate community emissions data and significant local and international programs that tie everything together.
So read on for everything you wanted to know about science-based targets, the Compact of Mayors and community greenhouse inventories - but were too afraid to ask or not sure where to start!
Back When Over 200 Councils had Greenhouse Reduction Targets
A decade ago over 200 Australian councils had greenhouse gas reduction targets. The majority of these targets were developed through ICLEI Oceania’s Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program and were aligned with the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. We generally saw targets in the range of 10-20% reduction "by 2010" compared to a variety of base years.
>> Haven’t got time to keep reading right now? Download our 2-page summary on science-based targets, greenhouse gas inventories and the Compact of Mayors.
Due to a variety of factors (including lack of monitoring, insufficient data, funding cuts and closing of the CCP Program) very few councils checked in to see if they met their targets. And even fewer set new targets. However, it seems as though we’re starting to turn full circle with targets back on the agenda. It’s fascinating to be part of the discussions having been involved back in the CCP days when targets were based on factors such as the Kyoto Protocol, funding for future action, available abatement and “what everyone else was doing”. Ultimately measurement and targets are valuable tools to help frame and focus the main game – action!