Sydney, Australia, has taken a big step toward its sustainability goals. Since the beginning of July, the central borough of the Sydney metro area, known as the City of Sydney, has run entirely on renewable energy. Nearly 250,000 residents now benefit from clean power for all daily operations, including buildings, street lights, and public spaces.
The city’s power is derived from local solar and wind farms in New South Wales, totaling the largest energy deal struck by a city council anywhere in Australia. According to the advocacy group Global Citizen, the move is expected to generate jobs in the nearby communities of Wagga Wagga, Nowra, and Inverell, where the solar and wind farms are located.
“We are in the middle of a climate emergency. If we are to reduce emissions and grow the green power sector, all levels of government must urgently transition to renewable energy,” said Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore in a press release. “Cities are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, so it is critical that we take effective and evidence-based climate actions.”
Seventy per cent of the world’s emissions are generated from cities, so the action city governments take is absolutely critical. https://t.co/fatMzgPATd
— Clover Moore (@CloverMoore) July 7, 2020
Sydney has been certified as carbon neutral since 2011 and is on track to reduce its total emissions by 70 percent by 2030, Euronews reported. The city estimates that moving to renewable energy will save taxpayers 500,000 Australian dollars per year ($347,000) over the next decade, keeping 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions out of the air annually.