At the Cities Power Partnership Awards ceremony on 17 November 2021, Morning Peninsula Shire took out top honours with the ‘Ambition Award’ for its Climate Emergency Plan, while the winner of the ‘Community Choice Award’ was Borough of Queenscliffe for its community-led climate emergency response plan.
The Cities Power Partnership awards recognise councils demonstrating climate mitigation action across a list of 37 action pledge items under the Cities Power Partnership.
Mornington’s Climate Emergency Plan guides the Peninsula towards zero community carbon emissions by 2040. Borough of Queenscliffe has set 2031 as its carbon-neutral target.
The Cities Power Partnership Awards recognise the work of climate heroes in local governments across the country who are transforming Australia’s energy landscape. The Ambition Award recognises councils that have bold, detailed plans for their climate change mitigation actions.
Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO, John Baker said he was delighted for the council’s plan to be recognised in this year’s awards.
Acceleration of climate action
“Our Climate Emergency Plan really sets the tone for our entire organisation and community to drive climate change action. After only one year of the plan being adopted, we’ve already seen an acceleration of climate action on the Mornington Peninsula, highlighted by the establishment of a community energy group, 22 hectar of bio links being created, the Shire achieving Carbon Neutral Certification, the launch of our Climate Action Grant program, an expanded Schools Environmental Education Program and the Solar and energy bulk buy program.”
Cities Power Partnership director, Dr Portia Odell, congratulated the Mornington Peninsula Shire, noting that the winning entry was a shining example of ambition in a competitive field of entrants.
“A strong, ambitious plan is essential to ensuring steep carbon emission for councils. Mornington’s Climate Emergency Plan boasts an ambitious science-based target for corporate and community emissions and outlines clear actions to get there. It’s a great example of a plan that is forward thinking, aligned with the science and outcome-focussed,” Dr Odell said.
Many more can follow
“The local climate solutions on display at these awards are tangible proof that Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change and play a critical role delivering climate solutions in Australia. The best part is that when one council finds a solution, many more can follow. As we see through innovative renewable energy deals or novel ways to help the community transition to net zero emissions, this sector is leading the way with practical local climate solutions,” the partnership director said.
Determined to play a big part
Queenscliffe Mayor Ross Ebbels said he was honoured that Australians voted Queenscliffe as this year’s Community Choice winner.
“It’s fitting that a project as community driven as our Climate Emergency Response Plan has received the Community Choice Award. Despite the Borough’s small size, we’re determined to play a big part in addressing the impact of climate change,” said Mayor Ebbels.
Director Dr Portia Odell noted that Queenscliffe shone in a competitive field of entrants:
“Queenscliffe’s work on climate is testament that small councils can have a big impact. Their work genuinely engaging the community and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporationto collectively develop a plan to take the region to net zero is truly inspiring. I look forward to following their progress.”
“It’s wonderful to have had so many Australians voting for their favourite climate projects – from councils switching to electric power tools to encouraging sustainable transport at schools, Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change and play a critical role delivering climate solutions in Australia.”
The Cities Power Partnership is Australia’s largest network of local councils leading the way to a zero emissions future. It consists of over 160 local government areas, 500 cities and towns, representing more than 60 per cent of the Australian population.
The Cities Power Partnership Awards celebrated outstanding work from local governments in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, community engagement and innovation as well as individual climate champion awards.
→ Queenscliffe crowned climate leaders