This award recognises exceptional work that is leading in the field of climate change and adaptation in NSW. Taking us closer to zero net emission and making our state more resilient to a changing climate.
Examples may include but are not limited to:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- managing climate change risks
- empowering community, business and/or environment to adapt to the impacts of climate change
- leading the emerging low-carbon economy
- initiatives to influence climate-related policies, practices and attitudes.
3 Council Program – Randwick Waverley and Woollahra Councils: Solar my School
What happens when three Eastern Suburbs councils – Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley – see a challenge, sense an opportunity, consider the benefits, make a commitment and follow it through?
They bring forward Solar my School – a clean, green program to benefit local schools and their communities.
This free council-run initiative helps local primary and secondary schools go solar, and reap the financial, environmental and educational benefits of clean, locally produced renewable energy.
The councils identified solar as ideal for schools – large unshaded roof spaces, high daytime energy demand and long tenure. Schools are also vital knowledge hubs and community leaders.
Now, this huge potential is being realised. In under two years, 40 schools have come on board. The program has helped schools access $100,000 in funding to install systems, currently 1.7 megawatts of solar potential has been assessed, bringing $230,000 a year in savings that schools can reinvest in other resources.
Importantly, around 18,500 students – and potential scientists – are exposed to a real-life lesson, seeing how a local solution can address a global challenge.
ClearSky Solar Investments
One hundred percent clean energy for Australia – is it just a dream?
Christina Kirsch and Warren Yates, directors of ClearSky Solar Investments, certainly believe it’s a goal worth striving for.
Their not-for-profit, volunteer run, social enterprise is a way for everyone to get solar happening in their communities. Identifying medium-sized businesses that could otherwise not afford installation, it has raised more than $3 million to install solar panels on 30 Australian sites.
It works by funding the projects through a trust supported by investors, who benefit over a 10-year period. At the end of this time the installation is given to the business.
It’s becoming harder for Christina and Warren to see an empty roof without wanting to negotiate a deal. But to them, it’s a matter of harnessing Australians’ rapidly-growing enthusiasm for renewable energy.
Even small-time investors can support individual projects, building funds with an attractive rate of return while helping to save the planet.
In the past two years, their solar installations have generated more over 3500MWh of clean electricity, with an estimated 75,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided over the lifetime of the installations.
Climate Council of Australia: Cities Power Partnership
Increasing community demand for information and advice on climate change is a good thing, but it’s important that any response is based on the best available science.
The Climate Council comprises some of the country's leading climate scientists, energy, health and policy experts, a dedicated team of staff, and a huge community of volunteers and supporters. They provide independent information on climate change and renewable energy.
The Council’s Cities Power Partnership is Australia’s largest climate program for local government. They engage and support local councils to take action on issues such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and working together to become leaders in Australia’s transition to a renewable future. Over the past year, around 100 local councils are on board, representing more than 8 million Australians.
This program encourages partners to commit to take 5 actions and provides them with a range of support and resources to help them achieve these pledges.
The Climate Council has built a reputation as a trusted and go-to authority on climate change throughout Australia and the world, and is committed to data collection and knowledge sharing.