Yass Valley Council has accepted an invitation by the Climate Council to join its Cities Power Partnership program.
The acceptance came at the June 2017 YVC meeting where seven councillors voted in favour of the motion.
The program “showcases and supports the emission reduction and clean energy successes of Australian towns and cities,” reads the Climate Council’s website.
It is free and requires the commitment of YVC to five key actions in return for access to a national network of expertise and support.
The June planning report by director of planning Chris Berry stated that the pledge to the five actions aligned with YVC’s current operational plan.
“Climate Council allows us to provide a focus … to align community objectives and actions to the program so we’re not duplicating or adding anything extra,” Mr Berry said at the meeting.
The key five actions council has pledged to achieve are: adoption of best practice in energy efficiency measures; rollout of of energy efficient lighting; encouragement of sustainable transport use; provision of adequate cycling lanes and support for cyclists; and strengthening the community’s skills in sustainable living.
The acceptance came after Amanda McKenzie, chief executive of Climate Council, sent mayor Rowena Abbey the formal invitation letter on May 23.
Cr Geoff Frost, who voted against the acceptance, said the partnership with a Climate Council program “would be a mistake”.
“They claim to be scientific and to some extent they are, but they’re essentially a political lobby group,” Cr Frost said.
“As a matter of principle, we would be very unwise to partner with what is simply, at its core, a political group.
“I’m sure if we want information from a political group, they’d be very happy to give it to us.”
Mr Berry, however, said access to analytical tools and information about climate change and renewable energy would not be available if the invitation was rejected.
“This invitation provides us with an opportunity to focus on those aspects of our CSP [community strategic plan] and work towards achieving them,” he said.
- More about CPP: climatecouncil.org.au/cpp