Photograph by Warren McLaren
Last month the City of Sydney declared that it had become Australia’s first carbon neutral government. It is important to note that whilst the total area of this southern metropolis is said to be equal to the size of London and nearly twice that of New York, at 4,000 square kilometres, the claim to carbon neutrality really only applies to the local government area called "Sydney." That spans the central business district and surrounding suburbs, and is about 26 square kilometres. But still, it's not a bad claim to fame.
The city council looked at their emissions as a result of fuel for their fleet of cars and trucks and running City of Sydney events (9% of total), energy emissions from the likes of street lighting and City owned properties (72%) and then all other emissions such as those caused by the City's operations, including contractors and business travel - taxis, flights, etc (19%) For the financial year of 06-7 this gave them a total of over 48,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions were then eliminated by efficiency measures and the purchase of 100% GreenPower. Where these measures didn’t pan out, the City of Sydney purchased carbon offsets, via a landfill gas flaring project in New South Wales.
But reducing greenhouse gases hasn’t been the sole focus of the city’s projects to become more sustainable. Have a peek at our environmental overview of Sydney in the TreeHugger post: People of Sydney: Tell Us About Your City.
Or you could get the information direct from the horse mouth, at the ::City of Sydney website.