City of Melbourne signs up for carbon trading scheme

Wednesday, 10 January, 2007

The City of Melbourne will be joining the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in a program that will commit the council to reducing its baseline greenhouse emissions.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne said, "Establishing a city based emissions trading scheme is a key recommendation of our Zero Net Emissions by 2020 strategy. Membership of the CCX will help us gain experience and knowledge in emissions trading activities and programs and prepare us for involvement in any future Australian emissions trading schemes.

"Membership also provides Council with the potential to sell carbon credits should it choose to in the future."

Dr Richard L Sandor, founder and chairman of the Chicago Climate Exchange, said: "We applaud the vision and leadership of the city of Melbourne, which in joining the exchange becomes the first city outside the United States to join. The city has a strong plan for energy efficiency and sustainability in place and its membership will maximise benefits and build incentives to expand and institutionalise wise environmental stewardship."

Environmental committee chair Cr Fraser Brindley said membership of the exchange would require council to adopt more rigorous reporting methods that would result in a larger emissions profile.

"We have decided to take the short-term pain in order to get the long-term benefits of a tighter reporting system and, of course, the knowledge and experience gained through membership of the Exchange," he said.

"The CCX methodology distinguishes between a member's direct and indirect emissions. Direct emissions are those resulting from on-site fuel use such as natural gas to heat buildings and petrol and other fuels in vehicle fleets. Indirect emissions come from energy purchases (ie, electricity). The City of Melbourne plans to include both its direct and indirect emissions in the program as we believe this will provide a true reflection of Council's greenhouse footprint."

The inclusion of indirect emissions means that Council will need to undertake a robust review of its data collection, management and reporting processes to ensure it can meet the CCX requirements.

"This will prepare Council for involvement in any national or state-based trading regimes in the future. Council hopes to be able to set up a consortium of Melbourne metropolitan local government councils with the goal of aggregating emissions for possible trading on the CCX," he said.

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