Climate change mitigation survey of Queensland councils: carbon footprint management

Zeppel, Heather (2012) Climate change mitigation survey of Queensland councils: carbon footprint management. In: 2012 Local Government Research Showcase and Forum (ACELG 2012), 11 Oct 2012, Brisbane, Australia.

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Abstract

Climate change impacts and carbon mitigation initiatives are key issues for local government (ACELG, 2011; Pillora, 2011; Storey et al, 2012). This research evaluates carbon mitigation actions by 32 local councils in Queensland. A 2012 survey profiled climate change responses, carbon mitigation actions, and council motives for emissions reduction. The study found carbon actions related to council size and capacity, coastal location, and climate change strategies. Carbon actions were mainly implemented by City, then Regional, and lastly Shire councils. Carbon leadership was mainly evident among coastal councils and larger inland councils (>30,000 resident population) that assessed their emissions. Larger metropolitan and coastal councils were more ‘carbon‐ready’ (i.e. consolidating or mainstreaming carbon actions) than smaller inland rural councils (i.e. latent or emerging actions) (LGAQ, 2009). Some 13 Queensland councils had completed an assessment of carbon emissions, while five councils planned to assess emissions. Just three surveyed councils purchased Green Power from renewable energy while four councils had a green purchasing program. Key motives for adopting carbon actions were: cost savings; environmental regulations; council climate strategy; council resolutions on climate change; and to demonstrate climate leadership. The main barriers to carbon actions were: cost and lack of funding; reliance on the operating budget; lack of council policies; indifference to climate change by some councillors and managers; lack of staff to implement climate action; and environmental regulations. Most Queensland local councils were minimalistic or opportunistic in adopting carbon actions, while a few progressively integrated lower carbon measures in council operations. The study identifies key challenges for Queensland local government in moving to a low carbon future.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions preventing deposit.
Depositing User: Associate Professor Heather Zeppel
Faculty / Department / School: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2012 05:38
Last Modified: 21 May 2013 01:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change mitigation, carbon management, local government, Queensland
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160507 Environment Policy
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160605 Environmental Politics
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22195

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